Delhi

Fake drug unit busted in Delhi

In a major crackdown, the Crime Branch of Delhi Police has busted a unit manufacturing fake life-saving drugs meant for the treatment of COVID-19 and “black fungus” (mucormycosis) patients, and arrested 10 people, including two doctors, officials on Sunday.

The medicines were being black marketed via WhatsApp, they said.

According to the police, one of the accused, Mayank Taluja (25), worked as a COVID-19 volunteer for two-three months and came in contact with a salesperson named Waseem Khan, who worked at Al Khidmat Medicos.

Soon, Mr. Taluja began advertising his mobile number on various WhatsApp groups that injectable drugs for the treatment of black fungus were available with him, they said.

On June 17, the Drugs Control Department notified the police that Mr. Taluja was involved in black marketing of drugs meant for the treatment of “black fungus”.

The police then arrested Waseem Khan from the Jamia Metro Station area, where he had come to deliver Liposomal Amphotericin-B, the drug used in treating “black fungus”.

Based on his disclosure, Al Khidmat Medicos was raided and 10 more vials of Liposomal Amphotericin-B were recovered and sent for tests, police said.

The owner of Al Khidmat Medicos, Shoib Khan, and his two salesmen Mohd Faizal Yaseen and Afzal, were also apprehended, police said.

Police said Mr. Taluja was also apprehended when he came to Al Khidmat Medicos, said Monika Bhardwaj, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP, Crime).

During interrogation, Mr. Khan had revealed that Shivam Bhatia, the manager of Mediiz Health Care in Saket, is the source of the vials of Liposomal Amphotericin-B, she said.

Mr. Bhatia, who was also apprehended in the case on June 18, informed the police that he had in turn procured the medicines from a person named Sonu in the Nizamuddin area of the city.

Thereafter, he supplied them to the customers at exorbitant price through his sources, the officer said.

When the police arrested Md Aftab alias Sonu (32), from Nizamuddin west, he had revealed that the drugs were manufactured at the residence of his elder brother, Dr. Altamas Hussain, police said.

The police reached the residence of Dr. Hussain and recovered 3,283 vials of drugs (including 858 vials of Amphotericin-B injections, 206 vials in Remdesivir injections, and other injections).

The senior police officer said that from the recovered articles, a sample of five drugs were drawn by the Inspector of the Drugs Department and sent for examination.

A laptop with images of printing material, two high-quality printing machines, and the raw material used for printing labels, were also seized from the premises, the officer said.

“The police analysed WhatsApp chats from the mobile phones of accused men and the names of two people — Aamir, the owner of Mediiz Health Connect, and it director Faizan — also surfaced, Ms. Bharadwaj said.

It came to light that Mr. Bhatia was their employee. “They both were aware that the injections were fake and yet were involved in their unauthorised sale-purchase,” she said.

On Sunday, both Dr. Aamir and Mr. Faizan were arrested, the police said.

“A team was then sent to Deoria in Uttar Pradesh to track Dr. Altamas Hussain. He was arrested and brought to Delhi,”" the DCP said.

Dr Hussain was also arrested by the Crime Branch of Ghaziabad in April this year for black marketing Remdesivir. He was in jail from April 29 to May 8, police said.


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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 11:32:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/fake-drug-unit-busted-in-delhi/article34874941.ece

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