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In Ahmedabad, 4 held for ‘selling’ antiviral injections in black market

While the Ahmedabad Cyber Crime Cell arrested a person Tuesday night for allegedly trying to sell a Remdesivir vial illegally at Rs 26,000, which is Rs 22,600 higher than the market price.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
Updated: April 29, 2021 6:00:41 am
Remdesivir injections, Remdesivir, black market, Ahmedabad news, india news, indian expressSince April 11, a total of 13 people have been arrested in Ahmedabad for trying to sell the crucial drug illegally.

Four persons have been arrested for trying to sell Remdesivir injections, used to treat coronavirus disease, in the black market at exorbitant prices in Ahmedabad, police said Wednesday. Since April 11, a total of 13 people have been arrested in Ahmedabad for trying to sell the crucial drug illegally.

While the Ahmedabad Cyber Crime Cell arrested a person Tuesday night for allegedly trying to sell a Remdesivir vial illegally at Rs 26,000, which is Rs 22,600 higher than the market price. The Ahmedabad Police Detection of Crime Branch (DCB), meanwhile, arrested three other persons and recovered 12 adulterated doses of the injection that the accused were trying to sell at Rs 12,000 per dose.

According to Cyber Crime Cell officials, Vastral-resident Sanjay Panchal (26) was held in a police trap near Moni Hotel at Isanpur Cross Roads Tuesday night after he contacted a person on Facebook stating he had one dosage of Remdesivir injection and would sell it for Rs 26,000.

“We had received a tip-off that a person was trying to sell Remdesivir injections at a black-market rate after contacting people on social media. After Panchal contacted a dummy customer and asked him to come near Moni Hotel for the exchange, a police team was set over there which then nabbed the accused. We have seized one box containing a single dose of Remdesivir whose MRP is Rs 3,400,” said an official.

Meanwhile, the DCB arrested Nikol residents Vipul Dhudhat (25) and Nidhi Goswami (23), and Himmatnagar resident Vipul Goswami (24) on Tuesday during separate raids. “Initially, we had received a tip-off that an accused, named Vipul Dhudhat, was trying to sell Remdesivir injections in the black market and so, we set up a dummy customer. Initially, he told us that he will sell the first dose of the injection for Rs 25,000-Rs 30,000 and the remaining five doses for Rs 12,000 which will only have a little fluid in each dose. The accused Dhudhat was held in a police trap at Sardar Hospital basement in Nikol and we seized total five doses of Remdesivir which had little fluid in each of them,” a DCB official said.

Dhudhat told police that he had procured the doses from one Nidhi Goswami, following which the woman’s Nikol residence was raided and seven doses of Remdesivir injections recovered. “All these seven doses were half-filled with fluid and the rest was powder. Nidhi told us that she had purchased the doses from Vipul Goswami who works at Aashirwad Hospital in Sabarkantha’s Himmatnagar. A raid was then conducted at Goswami’s residence and he too was arrested,” the official said.

Police said the three accused were trying to sell the injections that could be dangerous to patients, if administered.

“Usually, Remdesivir injection comes in powder form. It is reconstituted with sterile water and then has to be used within four hours. However, the fluid we found in the vials seized were tested and it was found that they have been reconstituted a long time ago, thereby posing a great health risk to the patients. Further investigation is on in the case,” another DCB official said.

Police have booked the accused in both the cases under sections of Essential Commodities Act, Disaster Management Act and IPC sections 120b for criminal conspiracy, 420 for fraud, 274 for adulteration of drugs, 275 for sale of adulterated drugs and 308 for attempt to commit culpable homicide.

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