Himachal-based company booked for smuggling cough syrup containing narcotic component

  • Arvind Kashyap, None, Solan
  • Updated: Jul 03, 2015 23:01 IST

Following registration of a criminal case against a Baddi-based multinational company by department of Drugs Control Administration (DCA), Telangana, after unearthing its involvement in "smuggling" cough syrup, containing narcotics components, to Bangladesh, has once again brought the Himachal Drug Control Department (DCD) under a scanner.

A case against the pharmaceutical company, Abott Healthcare, has been registered under Sections 468 and 471 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 8, 21, 22 and 29 of Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act on a complaint made by DCA authorities recently after the custom department seized the syrup during a special investigation. The DCA has initially assessed the value of seized stock around `57 crore.

Sources in the state DCD drug department revealed that large number of bottles of phensedyl cough syrup, manufactured by the company, was confiscated when the consignment was allegedly being smuggled to Bangladesh.

The DCA, during the investigations, found that the syrup contained narcotic compound codeine, the second-most predominant alkaloid in opium.

The DCA authorities also found that the company had transported stocks of phensedyl from its Baddi plant to its depot at Uppal in Hyderabad. The depot then invoiced the stocks to specific distributors recruited by the marketing managers and their subordinates. The investigations revealed that most of the retailers did not exist and others were ignorant about it.

Denying the involvement, the company's public affairs director, Varsha Chainani, said the company was aware about the public statements made by director of DCA related to the diversion of Phensedyl. "As a global healthcare company, Abott is committed in maintaining standards worldwide and our policies and procedures strictly comply with law and order," Varsha said.

When contacted, Himachal drug controller Navneet Marwah said shortly after receiving the information he had asked the officials concerned to inquire into the matter, adding that strict action would be taken against the ones found guilty of violating the law.

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