Man caught trying to sell fake Remdesivir vials in Bengaluru

April 19, 2021 11:40 pm | Updated April 20, 2021 07:56 am IST - Bengaluru/Mysuru

Remdesivir antiviral injectable drug.

Remdesivir antiviral injectable drug.

City Crime Branch (CCB) officials caught a pharma company executive trying to sell fake Remdesivir vials on the road at Shivajinagar, in Bengaluru, last Saturday.

Based on a tip-off, a team raided an eyecare shop on Hospital Road in Shivajinagar and caught Syed Khaja Kaleelulla, 27, and seized five vials from him. He was trying to sell each vial for ₹14,500 in the black market.

Kaleelulla was working with a pharma company in Wilson Garden and claimed that his colleague, identified as Mujeer, had given him the veils to sell, promising him of commission for the sale.

Kaleelulla was later handed over to the Commercial Street police for further investigation, while the CCB officials seized his mobile phone. They are probing further to ascertain the source of the drugs. Meanwhile, the police have continued to track down Mujeer, who is on the run.

Mysuru racket

The CCB of Mysuru city police unearthed a racket of fake Remdesivir sale.

A special team of the CCB, set up in the wake of growing complaints of black-marketing of Remdesivir injection amid the resurgence of COVID-19 cases, stumbled upon a large quantity of fake Remdesivir medicine in the house of Girsh, a male nurse working with a private hospital, at Vidyanagar, in Nazarbad police limits, on Monday.

Briefing reporters, City Police Commissioner Chandragupta said the nurse was collecting the exhausted bottles of Remdesivir from the hospital and refilling them with Cefuroxime antibiotic and saline water before selling it to gullible buyers for an inflated price.

Girish was assisted by Shivappa and Mangala, security personnel and housekeeper, respectively, at the private hospital, in gathering the exhausted bottles of Remdesivir. Girish managed to sell fake Remdesivir in the black market with the assistance of two men, identified as Prashant and Manjunath.

Remdesivir has been in huge demand ever since pharmacists ran out of stock and the government began supplying it to hospitals so that the injection could be administered directly to the patients in need.

Apart from arresting all five accused, the police also recovered ₹2.82 lakh that they had collected by selling the fake medicine. The seized fake medicine includes several bottles bearing stickers of well-known pharmaceutical brands that manufacture Remdesivir.

A case has been booked against the accused under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and various sections of the IPC. With regard to the fate of those who have bought the fake medicine, the police said investigation was still under way.

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