Remdesivir on the black market: police arrest 5, recover 4 vials
PUNE The Pune police have arrested five men and recovered four vials of the Remdesivir injection used for Covid-19 treatment and currently in short supply.
The accused were trying to sell the vials on the black market, police said.
The recovery was done through raids carried out by officials of Unit 4 of the Pune police crime branch on Wednesday.
In one raid, the police caught four men and recovered two vials of the drug from near a petrol pump along the Ahmednagar road. In the other raid, two vials were recovered from one person in Wagholi.
The four arrested men have been identified as Mohammad Mehboob Pathan (28), a resident of Railway Quarters in Daund; Imtiaz Yusuf Ajmeri (52), a resident of Kharadi, Chandan nagar; Parvez Mounoddin Shaikh (36), a resident of Tukai nagar in Daund; and Ashwini Vijay Solanki (41), a resident of Yerawada.
The two vials found in their possession had tags that read: “For use of GOVT. Of Maharashtra Not for sale”. The men were selling the vials for ₹18,000 per piece, whereas the Maharashtra government has issued a price-cap of ₹1,400 on the drug.
“These injections are from the stock provided by the government to government hospitals and were being taken by the accused from the government hospital in Daund for financial gains by selling them in the black market, as per preliminary information,” read a statement issued by Pune police.
A case has been registered at Chandan nagar police station against the four.
In the other case, a man was found selling the drug vials for ₹10,000 a vial. The man was identified as Rohidas Gore.
A case against him was registered at Lonikand police station after a decoy customer was sent to trap him.
Two separate Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials were called in to check and lodge complaints in the two cases.
Both the cases have been registered under Section 420 (cheating) of Indian Penal Code, and relevant sections of Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO), 2013; Essential Commodities Act; and Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
In similar raids, Unit 1 of crime branch recovered a vial from a man in Dattanagar, Katraj, on April 11, while Unit 3 of the crime branch recovered two vials from another man in Bhavani peth on April 12.
In five days since April 11, the Pune police crime branch has arrested seven people and recovered seven vials of the drug that were being sold on the black market.
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