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Friday, May 14, 2021

Surat: Six held, 12 vials of Remdesivir injections seized

Police said the suspects procured “left-over and unused” Remdesivir injections from the stock at New Civil Hospital for treatment of Covid patients and were planning sell these at Rs 12,000 a vial.

By: Express News Service | Surat |
April 18, 2021 2:58:26 am
Remdesivir, Remdesivir Mumbai, Madhya Pradesh Remdesivir, Remdesivir availability, Remdesivir news, india news, indian expressAn ampule of antiviral remdesivir. (AP Photo)

The Surat police on Saturday arrested six persons, including a laboratory technician, laboratory owner, medical store owner and a medical representative, as part of a crackdown on rackets involved in black marketing of Remdesivir injtections. A total of 12 vials of the antiviral injections were seized from their possession.

Police said the suspects procured “left-over and unused” Remdesivir injections from the stock at New Civil Hospital for treatment of Covid patients and were planning sell these at Rs 12,000 a vial.

Amid a shortage of such injections, the Surat police had got tip-offs that these were being sold in the black market in the Parvat Patia area of Surat city.

Thus, checks were done at several medical stores in multiple areas. Posing as customers, police personnel went to a medical store at Parvat Patia, and enquired about the injections. The shop owner claimed that the injections were out of stock.

A youth who was standing nearby area soon approached the “customer” and asked how many Remdesivir injections were required. The “customer” replied that six vials were needed, after which a “deal” was struck at Rs 12,000 a vial, police sources said.

The man, later identified as Kalpesh Makwana (33), a resident of Punagam area in Surat, told the “customer” to follow him on the motorcycle and took him to a pathology laboratory at Godadara area. He entered the laboratory and soon came out with six vials, accompanied by the laboratory technician, Pradip Kataria. Meanwhile, while waiting outside, the “customer” policeman had informed his team and shared his location.

A police team reached the spot and nabbed Makwana and Kataria. They disclosed that they got such injections from the laboratory owner, Shailesh Hadiya, and his brother Nitin Hadiya, both residents of Godadara area in Surat. The team then arrested the laboratory owner and seized six more Remdesivir vials from their possession.

Police said the Hadiya brothers confessed that they got the injections from Yogesh Kawad, a resident of Punagam area, who purchased these from a medical store at Nitya Hospital in Sarthana area.

Surat Police Commissioner Ajaykumar Tomar said, “The Nitya Hospital at Sarthana treats Covid patients. The hospital gets Remdesivir injections from the New Civil Hospital and the unused or left-over Remdesivir injections, they don’t return to the Civil Hospital but instead sell in the local market. The main player in the entire racket is Vivek Dhameliya, owner of a medical store and also a partner at the Nitya Hospital. We are trying to get some more information in this case and for that interrogation [of those arrested] is necessary.” Police sources said Vivek Dhameliya had in his statements to police had confessed he had sold 10 such Remdesivir injections each at Rs 1,500 to Yogesh Kawad (Medical representative by profession) and later on second lot of 10 injections each at Rs 2,000. Kawad sells it to the Hadiya brothers at Rs 4,000-6,000.

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