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Haryana unearths diversion of medical intoxicants to Bangladesh
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
The Haryana Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) Department has busted a racket involving illicit diversion and transportation of medical intoxicants across the Indian border.

The department says 3.5 lakh bottles of codeine (an opiate) bought from a depot of a multinational pharmaceutical company may have been smuggled out of India.

Officials say two lakh bottles — containing 40 kg of codeine worth Rs 1 crore — are learnt to have been diverted to Bangladesh from a Hisar-based wholesaler, while another 1.5 lakh bottles are suspected to have followed the same route from an Ambala-based trader.

The racket of illegal trans-shipment was exposed when the FDA checked the sales record of the pharmaceutical company’s Panchkula depot last week and found that nearly 80 per cent supply had been made to two players based in Hisar and Ambala.

“They paid by way of cheques for the supply and could not deny it. The Hisar wholesaler, JP Medicose, said he had sold it to a firm in Bhiwani. We later found that the firm’s licence had expired in 2008.”

“Similarly, Ambala’s Luxmi Drug Store claimed it had sold the drug to another firm, which was also found non-existent. We sealed their premises and registered FIRs against the owners under the NDPS Act. No arrest has been made so far,” said State Drugs Controller GL Singhal.

During the raid on the Hisar wholesaler’s premises, the FDA officials seized a letter from the Director, Revenue Intelligence, Kolkata, pointing out illegal diversion and smuggling of three batches of Phensedyl cough linctus to Bangladesh. The consignment was seized by the DRI, Berhampore (West Bengal). “The two firms followed the same modus operandi of buying intoxicants from the depot and selling these to fake firms. Though the letter makes it clear that the Hisar wholesaler sent supplies to Bangladesh, we suspect the Ambala firm also did the same with its consignment.

“Cash transaction for the supply raised suspicion. It is now for the police to track down the supply chain,” Singhal said. Maintaining that the FDA raided 250 chemist shops in the past two years, Singhal said more than 25 cases had been registered under the NDPS Act.

“This is a significant finding. We will come down heavily on unlicensed chemists in the state,” he said.

How they cracked it

  • The racket came to light when Haryana Food and Drugs Administration officials checked sales records of a pharmaceutical company’s Panchkula depot
  • It was found that around 80% supplies from the depot were made to two players based in Hisar and Ambala
  • During a raid on a Hisar wholesaler’s premises, a letter from the Director, Revenue Intelligence, Kolkata, was found that hinted at illegal diversion of three batches of Phensedyl Cough Linctus to Bangladesh





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