Thursday, August 5, 2021

Punjab police nabs one of India’s biggest manufacturers of illegal Pharmaceutical drugs from Delhi

In one of the biggest crackdowns on the illegal manufacture-diversion-supply of Pharmaceutical opioids in the country, Punjab Police has arrested Krishan Kumar Arora @ Clovidol Badshah & his son Gaurav Arora of Neutec Healthcare Pvt Ltd, Narela, Delhi. The father son duo were one of the biggest manufacturers and suppliers of different types of Pharmaceutical opioids in the country and were illegally supplying/diverting 18-20 crore tablets, capsules & syrups, worth around 70-80 crores across 17 states of the country every month through various drug supply gangs, including Mathura gang & Agra gang, which were busted recently by the Punjab Police said Dinkar Gupta, DGP Punjab.

He informed that the infamous duo were the masterminds of the ‘Pharma drug cartel’, which controls a major share (almost 60-70%) of the total illegal pharma opioid drug trade. Both were arrested from Rajouri Garden Delhi on 27th August by a Barnala Police Team, comprising of Dr. Pragya Jain IPS ASP Mehal Kalan and Baljit Singh I/C CIA, working under the supervision of SSP Barnala Sh.Sandeep Goel.

DGP further said that the entire network began to unravel with busting of Mathura gang and Agra gang by the Barnala Police starting February 2020 followed up by major seizures and arrests in May & July 2020 numbering more than 73 lakh intoxicant tablets/capsules/syrups, 2.26 crore drug money proceeds and arrest of 36 accused persons from 5 states till now, said DGP Punjab.

Sustained and concerted investigations led to the unmasking of the backward and forward linkages of the unholy nexus and further revealed the involvement of various Pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, including Neutec Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd, Narela, Delhi, which is one of the biggest manufacturers of NRx (Prescription) drugs, such as Clovidol 100 SR, Trio SR, Simplex C+, Simplex +, Tridol, Foridol, Prozolam, Alprazolam etc.. These drugs are extensively abused as pharma opioids by drug addicts all over the country said Dinkar Gupta.

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Dinkar Gupta revealed that ivestigation into their modus operandi revealed that Krishan Arora & Gaurav Arora, pretty much the biggest fish of the pharma opioid trade.  They were clandestinely manufacturing Pharma drugs over and above the sanctioned quota, and had created wholesale/retail pharmaceutical firms in connivance with his many associates with the sole purpose of diverting these pharmaceutical opioids into illegal drug by falsely reflecting the sale and purchase of pharmaceutical opioids. These fake firms were mainly dealing in the purchase and sale of NRX (Prescription) drugs and small quantities of generic drugs as a cover. Some of these front firms include Santoshi Pharma, Jagdeesh Pharma, SS agency, Jai Hanuman Phama, Mayank Drug House etc. These front firms were often shut down after 3-4 months to evade scrutiny of law enforcement agencies.

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An elaborate network of transporters/couriers, including  Sri Ram Transport, Narela Transport, Annu Road Carriers, Malik Transport, Delhi Punjab Transport (all in Delhi) and , Jai Bhole Transport, Aligarh Hathras, Devesh Transport, Lamba T, Radha Krishan Transport, Shreejee Roadlines (all in Agra) was also built to facilitate the supply of pharmaceutical drugs across the country.

In most cases, these drug consignments were delivered without bill to various locations and the transporters were paid 3-4 times above the normal rates as compensation. In other cases, these drug consignments were transported on procured fake invoices of genuine pharmaceutical firms, namely Kalra Medicos, Janta Medicos, JMD Pharma, Medstone Ascelepius (all in Delhi) and VR enterprises, Shri Kaila Devi Enterprises, Jai Hanuman Pharma (all in Agra) etc. To evade scrutiny by police and law enforcement authorities, the consignments were often marked as ‘carrying surgical equipment’. In addition, the Neutec Healthcare Pvt Ltd used to deliver drug consignments through their own vehicles. The Neutec Healthcare Pvt Ltd, had hired Godowns through its agents, in different parts of the country to store these Pharmaceutical opioids and to supply them further to pre-identified targets. Payments and transfer of money was mostly done through hawala channels and also through multiple cash transactions into bank accounts of fake firms, especially created for this purpose.

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He added that these pharmaceutical products have legitimate and important medical use; however, these products cannot be sold without a valid medical prescription from a registered medical practitioner. These pharmaceutical opioids, which are mostly used for pain relief and medical treatment for opioid dependence, were being diverted for intoxication and drug abuse often leading to major drug overdose issues and even deaths.

Dinkar Gupta, DGP Punjab said that the recent operations carried out by the Punjab Police had delivered a major blow to the supply of pharma opioids into Punjab, as according to ‘Magnitude of Substance Use in India-2019’, a study commissioned by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, New Delhi, Pharmaceutical opioids (which itself includes a variety of medications of the opioid group) are the second most commonly used opioid in India (0.96%), after heroin, which is the most commonly used opioid in India (1.14%). It is estimated that the harmful use/dependent use of Pharmaceutical opioids constitutes about 40% of the drug problem in the State. With the arrest of main kingpins controlling 60-70% of the total illegal Pharmacological opioid drug trade, the interstate network of manufacture and sale of pharma opioids has suffered a big hit.

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