Two persons arrested

An illegal online pharmacy network used for shipping psychotropic drugs from India to customers in the U.S., Europe and Canada for the last six years has been busted by the Narcotics Control Bureau (Chennai Zonal Unit). Two persons were arrested on Wednesday in this connection.

Those arrested were identified as Alexander Vyukhin alias Alex (48), a Russian residing near Auroville for the last five years, and Shanker alias Sekar (48). They were remanded to custody and sent to prison.

Explaining their operations, NCB Zonal Director S. Davidson Devasirvatham said overseas customers requiring psychotropic drugs, which are usually banned in many foreign countries, would approach merchant account-holders online for delivery of the drugs.

“The account-holders suspected to be operating from abroad have contacts in India to whom lists of required drugs, along with overseas addresses to which the delivery is to be made, are emailed. They pay huge money as the drugs are not available easily overseas.”

Investigation based on specific intelligence found that Vyukhin was such a contact for a merchant account-holder named ‘John', whose customers are in the U.S., parts of Europe and Canada. “Vyukhin received emails with drug orders on a regular basis from John; he would pass them on with delivery addresses to Shankar, who has a pharmaceutical background,” Mr. Devasirvatham added.

Shankar had travelled around the country procuring psychotropic drugs such as Alprax, Diazepam, Oxycodone and Hydrocodone and sent them overseas through Express Mail Service (EMS) and Railway Mail Service (RMS). The duo were involved in the drug trade for nearly six years and are suspected to have made an overall profit of over Rs. 1.5 crore, NCB sources said.

The NCB team raided Shankar's house in Villupuram on Monday and seized three boxes of drugs and some parcels meant for delivery overseas.

Further probe is on to identify their overseas contacts and track down those who sold drugs in bulk to Shankar.

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Petlee PeterJune 28, 2012