Two arrested for black marketing remdesivir, 17 vials recovered
New Delhi Continuing its crackdown on hoarders and black marketeers of life-saving drugs, Delhi Police on Friday arrested two men and recovered 17 fake remdesivir vials that they were allegedly selling at inflated rates to Covid patients or their relatives. Police said the accused were allegedly selling each injection for ₹35,000.
Deputy commissioner of police (Shahdara) R Sathiyasundaram said the accused, Anshuman (31) and Kartik (24), told police that they had allegedly procured the fake remdesivir injections from two persons, Akarshan from Noida and Anil from Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar. Police are on the lookout for the latter two suspects.
According to the DCP, the accused allegedly procured each injection for around ₹9,000 and had already sold more than eight such fake medicines in Paschim Vihar, north Delhi and Rohini over the past few days.
Around a fortnight ago, companies that manufacture remdesivir injections had lowered the price of the injections on the government’s request. As per the revised rates, the injection is available at price range of ₹899 to ₹3,490. However, as the demand for the injections soared due to the steep rise in Covid cases, people began hoarding remdesivir, leading to an acute shortage of the injections in the market. Currently, black marketeers are selling the injections to desperate Covid patients and their relatives for prices ranging from ₹25,000 to ₹40,000, senior police officers said.
The Shahdara district police on Friday received information that Anshuman would come near Cross River Mall near Anand Vihar around 8 pm to deliver injections to a customer. Accordingly, a trap was laid and Anshuman was caught with an associate Kartik after they arrived in a Honda City car, said DCP Sathiyasundaram.
“Anshuman was carrying 10 remdesivir injections in a polybag while Kartik had seven. After verification, all the injections were found fake as the company’s name mentioned on the vials does not exist,” said the DCP, adding that they were now looking for Anil and Akarshan.
The crime branch had recently busted a syndicate manufacturing fake remdesivir vials in a factory in Uttarahand’s Kotdwar and selling them in black market through agents. Seven people, including the owner of the factory, were arrested between April 23 and April 29 from Delhi and Haridwar and a total of 198 fake remdesivir vials were seized from them.
Police are currently probing if the fake medicines recovered on Friday are from the same manufacturing unit in Uttarakhand or are part of another syndicate.