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Fake companies created to supply opioids

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 14

Fake marketing companies are being used to supply the banned opioids, mainly tramadol tablets, in the grey market by some pharmaceutical firms units in Sirmaur district. The fact came to light during the backward linkage investigations after a huge stock of tramadol tablets were recovered in Punjab and the roots were found in Paonta Sahib and Kala Amb.

FIRs were registered against two pharma companies which were suspected of supplying drugs through fake marketing companies and 745 kg and 226 kg of tramadol raw material and 30 lakh tramadol tablets worth Rs 6 crore were seized from the companies.

Cases of illegally manufactured pharma opioids have come to the fore in the state. Himachal is grappling with twin problems of chitta and opioids. Chitta is being smuggled to the state from Delhi while opioids are going out of the state illegally, said IG, Cyber Crime (CID), Atul Fulzele.

As per the data procured from the police department, 797 kg of heroine and 30 lakh opioid tablets have been seized till August 31 as compared to 0.634 kg of heroine and 56,110 tablets in 2016.

The number of NDPS cases and persons arrested has been on the rise since 2016 and 7,737 persons, including 97 women and 39 foreigners, have been arrested in 6,257 cases in the past five years while 1,519 persons (13 women and 4 foreigners) were arrested till August 31 this year.

The knockout punch to drug trafficking is the approach adopted by the police which are now focusing on catching big fish, said DGP Sanjay Kundu.

A register for drug traffic operators (DTO) will be introduced from November 1. It will contain the details, including name, age, physical description, mobile number, Aadhaar number, social media accounts, assets, quantity of contrabands seized, details of family members and political involvement. It will allow the police to monitor drug trafficking and trade more effectively.

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