Ropar Police on Friday cracked a multi-crore rupee interstate fake Remdesivir manufacturing racket with the arrest of six persons including the kingpin who used to also black market the fake replicas of the life-saving anti-viral drug used to treat critical COVID-19 patients.
The police have also recovered designs and packaging material used for making these vials besides seizing Rs 2 crores cash and four cars including Maruti Baleno (UP12BB6710), Toyota Etios (UK08AC2561), Hyundai I20 (PB65AU5784) and Maruti Swift Dzire (CH01X7862) from possession of accused.
Disclosing this here today, Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta said that one of the accused Mohammad Shahwar had taken premises in village Maloya on lease on pretext of stocking medicines ten months back. Following recovery of vials in Bhakhra canal last month, the SIT constituted to investigate the case traced the marketing address written on the recovered vials to Nautwins Pharmaceuticals in Maloya whose owner was quizzed. He led the Police to the unravelling of the entire conspiracy plot and identified the accused, the DGP added.
The owner also disclosed that various Police Units including from Delhi, Panipat, Ambala had also raided the premises to know the whereabouts of the accused.
Investigations are on to ascertain their area of operations into other states and samples from recovered vials have been sent to CDSCO, Kolkata, for forensic examination to find out which substance/chemicals were being used in these fake medicines, the DGP added.
Further, after nominating the name of Mohammad Shahwar and his aide identified as Shah Nazar, who is the main accused in the supply of these fake injections, the Ropar police conducted raids at Kala Amb, the main office and house of Shahwar to get further leads. In the meantime Shahwar had managed to abscond and for at least one month he had traveled to Goa, Bangalore, UP, Delhi and various other locations to evade arrest, Gupta said.
An SIT headed by SP Headquarter Dr Ankur Gupta was constituted after 3000 vials including 621 of Remdesivir and 1456 of Cefoperazone, while 849 unlabelled vials were recovered from Bhakra Canal at village Salempur and Balsanda in Rupnagar on May 6 last month.
According to SSP Ropar, Akhil Chaudhary, those arrested have been identified as Mohammad Shahwar of village Khudda at Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh (UP), Arshad Khan of Baghpat in UP, Mohammad Arshad of Saharanpur in UP, Pradeep Saroha of Kurukshetra in Haryana, Shah Nazar and Shah Alam, both residents of Behlopur in Mohali.
An FIR no. 46 dated May 6, 2021 was already registered under sections 188, 278, 468 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), section 103 of the Trademark Act, section 43 of the Water (Prevention and Control) Act, section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act, section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, sections 53, 54, 57 of the Disaster Management Act and section 27 of the Drugs and Cosmetic Act at Chamkaur Sahib Police Station, the SSP said.