Eight held for illegal sale of Remdesivir in Chennai

Ploy foiled: Mohammed Imrankhan, one of the accused and a doctor, in police custody on Friday.  

The police arrested eight persons, including a young doctor and paramedical staff, in various parts of the city for hoarding life-saving drug Remdesivir to sell on the black market.

Personnel from the Tambaram police station on Friday arrested four persons, including a young doctor and the staff of the Government General Hospital in Tiruvannamalai. Following information that a gang was indulging in the illegal act, a special police team, led by Superintendent of Police, Civil Supplies CID, S. Santhi, caught two persons operating out of a car near a private hospital on Thursday.

She told The Hindu, “Based on information, we caught the duo near the hospital. Our preliminary investigation revealed that Mohammed Imrankhan, 25, who finished MBBS recently, and his friend Vijay, a schoolmate of his and a fruit seller, procured the drug from Vignesh, who worked at the Tiruvannamalai Government General Hospital, for ₹8,000. While they were planning to sell it for ₹20,000, we caught and handed them over to the police. Seventeen vials of Remdesivir were seized from them.”

Dr. Imrankhan and his associates Vijay, 27, of Pallikaranai, Rajkumar, 33, of Tiruttani, and Vignesh, 27, of Tiruvannamalai, were arrested.

Meanwhile, drug inspector M.P. Muralikrishnan received information on the illegal sale of Remdesivir in the ICF area and informed the police. Accompanied by the personnel, officers of the Drug Control Department nabbed T. Karthikeyan, 33, of Villivakkam, and Jaspher Jano, 31, of Ernavoor.

False records

Sources said Karthikeyan, a pharmacy assistant, and Jasper Jano, a male nurse working at a private hospital on Mint Street, had procured Remdesivir from the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital by illegally accessing the medical records of COVID-19 patients.

They procured six vials for around ₹9,000 and sold them for ₹15,000 a vial. They were operating from a premises in ICF North Colony.

The police arrested them under Sections 464 (making a false document), 465 (punishment for forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), read with provisions of the Essential Commodities Act.

On Friday, personnel of the Vepery station arrested two more persons who were selling Remdesivir for high prices near Narayana Hospital, Tana Street.

The police identified them as R. Saambasivam, 46, of Kodambakkam, and S. Ramu, 29, of Kandiperu, Vellore, and recovered six vials from them. Further investigation is on.

Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan has warned of stringent action against those selling Remdesivir illegally.

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 11:09:59 AM |

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