Delhi: 7, including doctor, held for manufacturing, supplying spurious drugs
The gang allegedly manufactured spurious medicines and supplied them in India, China, Bangladesh and Nepal as genuine life saving cancer medicines
Seven people, including an MBBS doctor and owner of a pharmaceutical factory, were arrested by the crime branch of the Delhi police for allegedly manufacturing spurious medicines and supplying them in India, China, Bangladesh and Nepal as genuine life saving cancer medicines.
The team members busted the spurious medicines manufacturing factory at Sonepat in Haryana and raided a godown in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad. A total of 20 international brands of cancer medicines worth over ₹8 crore were seized from the arrested persons, apart from a huge quantity of raw materials and machinery used for manufacturing the spurious medicines and packaging materials, the police said.
“The arrested men were making profit out of the illness and misery of cancer patients, selling them false hopes by providing fake drugs, with no active ingredients and playing with the precious lives of innocent persons who were already suffering from life-threatening diseases like cancer. They were delivering the consignments of spurious drugs to China and Bangladesh through couriers to individuals along with medical declaration to avoid detection,” said an Inspector from the crime branch, who led the entire operation.
The arrested persons were identified as Dr. Pabitra Narayan Pradhan, 34, Shubham Manna, 29, Pankaj Singh Bohra, 27, Ankit Sharma, 26, Ram Kumar alias Harbir, 43, Aekansh Verma, 27, and Prabhat Kumar, 45. At least two more doctors, including one from Bangladesh named Dr Mohammad Rasel, are still absconding in the case. The two doctors are said to be operating the network from Nepal and Bangladesh. The other absconding doctor named Dr. Anil Jaiswal from Bihar is running the racket from Nepal, the officer said.
Pradhan completed his MBBS course from China and returned to Delhi, where he worked in GTB hospital, Super Speciality Cancer Institute and Deepchand Bandhu hospital, asa junior resident. He left the job and connived with others for manufacturing and supplying spurious life saving cancer drugs. An engineer by profession, Manna is a cousin of Pradhan. Harbir runs a pharmaceutical factory in Sonepat where the spurious medicines were manufactured. Verma and Kumar run pharma firms in Chandigarh and Delhi respectively, said special commissioner of police (crime) Ravindra Yadav.
Around three months ago, the special CP said, the interstate crime branch team received information regarding involvement of an international gang in manufacturing and supplying spurious life saving cancer drugs. These individuals were involved in inter-state dealings and pan-India involvement in manufacturing and supplying spurious drugs for nearly four years. The team developed the information and learnt that the gang had been packing and storing fake medicines at their godown in Tronica City near Ghaziabad.
“It was further learnt that Pardhan and Manna were living in a flat at Sector-43, Noida, UP and operating and managing all the operations from there. On their directions, Pankaj Bohra and Ankit Sharma used to deliver the spurious medicines at different locations in Delhi and they used to book the ‘We Fast’ courier for delivery of the medicines across the country,” said Yadav.
Separate teams were constituted to intercept and track the movement of the alleged persons. During the operation, one of the teams intercepted the movement of one of the alleged persons at Bhairon Mandir Road, near Pragati Maidan over one scooter carrying a bag on November 10. The team overpowered the aforesaid person, whose identity was established as Pankaj Singh Bohra. On inspection of the bag, medicines were recovered. On interrogation, Bohra revealed that the recovered medicines were spurious and only a leading pharmaceutical company had the authorisation to sell them in India. Subsequently, the second team caught Pardhan, Manna and Sharma from a Noida flat and from the search of the flat, ₹1.3 lakh and thousands of spurious medicines were seized, the police said.
During interrogation, Pardhan revealed that he completed his MBBS from China in 2012. During the MBBS course, his batch-mate, Dr. Rasel (native of Bangladesh) told him that he can provide API (Actual Pharmaceutical Ingredients) required to manufacture spurious medicines used in the treatment of cancer. He further told him that some cancer medicines have heavy demand in the markets of India and China and are highly expensive. From the selling of these spurious medicines, they can earn huge amounts of money, said the special CP.
“Dr. Anil Jaiswal, their friend who also completed MBBS from China, also agreed to supply such spurious medicines through his contacts in India and China. Thereafter, Pradhan involved his cousin Manna and other associates and started manufacturing the spurious medicines meant for the treatment of cancer. To start with, he designed foil strips, outer packaging and got them printed from Dehradun and Noida. Capsules were taken from Verma for packing of spurious powder. They used to give capsules and foil paper to one Harbir who further procured the raw material and prepared tablets and capsules in his factory in Sonipat, Haryana as per their demand. They rented a godown in Tronica City for final packaging and supply. Pradhan and Manna constituted a supply chain through Dr. Anil, Aekansh and Prabhat,” added Yadav.
Between November 11 and 14, the police raided the godown and factory from where they recovered spurious medicines and raw as well as packaging materials in huge quantities.