Days after the Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) unearthed a racket selling counterfeit drugs as Tocilizumab in Ahmedabad and Surat, the Ahmedabad Crime Branch nabbed three persons, including the main conspirator, and seized spurious mix of steroid injections and tablets worth Rs 7.8 lakh which the accused had branded as treatment medicine for Covid.
According to officials of Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB), Ashish Shah, Akshay Shah and Sohail Tai were nabbed from Ahmedabad and Surat. Ashish and Akshay ran a pharmacy store in Sabarmati area of Ahmedabad, while Sohail, a resident of Surat, was the alleged manufacturer of the spurious mix.
Two more persons, Nilesh Laliwala and Harsh Thakor, both retailers of steroid injections, have been arrested by police in the past as accomplices of the main accused, Ashish.
According to police, all five are involved in allegedly manufacturing and selling spurious mix by branding it as Tocilizumab meant for treatment of Covid-19 patients for their monetary benefits.
“The accused had without permit manufactured fake medicine Decagen 250ML/MG, Nandrolone Decanoate 250 MG/ML and branded it as Tocilizumab/Actemra injection for treatment of Covid-19 patients. After the racket was unearthed by the FDCA and 30 tablets of the spurious mix were seized, the accused were booked for attempt to murder in a case filed at Vastrapur police station for the dangerous nature of crime. The Crime Branch team took over the case and today, we managed to nab the remaining three accused. As of now, Ashish and Akshay are under detention, while Sohail is in police remand. We have also seized spurious mix of drugs worth Rs 7.38 lakh from the house of Sohail,” said a police official of Ahmedabad DCB.
The racket was first unearthed on July 18 after a private practitioner, who had prescribed Tocilizumab for one of his patients, found the drug with suspicious packaging, following which he raised an alarm.
“Harsh Thakor used to visit pharmacy shops in Ahmedabad in the wake of the pandemic and as there was a shortage of injections in the medical shops, he used to offer them in black. This is how he came in contact with Ashish and Akshay who demanded supply of Tocilizumab dosage injections. For monetary benefits, Harsh along with Nilesh started changing labels of steroid injections boxes to Tocilizumab,” said the police officer.
All five accused have been booked under Indian penal code sections 307 for attempt to murder, 276 for sale of drug as a different drug,406 for criminal breach of trust and 114B for criminal conspiracy.
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