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Fake remdesivir racket busted in Gujarat

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on May 03, 2021

Accused prepared the duplicate anti-viral drug using compound of glucose and salt

A compound of glucose and salt filled into a glass vial- labelled with a reputed pharma company brand, was all that a group of racketeers required to make and sell fake remdesivir injections in parts of Gujarat.

The local crime branch of Morbi on Saturday busted an alleged State-wide racket of fake remdesivir injections. The Ahmedabad Crime Branch has so far booked 8 persons in this connection of which seven are arrested, a government statement said.

The Crime Branch conducted raids at places in Morbi, Surat and Ahmedabad and seized 3,371 vials of the injection valuing ₹1.61 crore at the market rate of approx ₹4,500 each, and ₹90.27 lakh in cash, which the accused had allegedly earned by selling the fake injections.

Explaining the modus operandi, the police informed that the accused allegedly sourced the empty vials from Mumbai, pasted the fake brand labels on the vials before filling them with 33gms of glucose-salt compound at a factory in Vapi.

The packaged injection vials then sent to parts of Gujarat for sale. Depending on the desperation of the patients, the charges would be fixed between ₹2,500 and 5,000 or more and sold through select network.

Gujarat’s Minister of State for Home Pradipsinh Jadeja informed that looking at the gravity of the crime and their attempt of putting Covid-19 patients’ lives in danger, the accused will face penal actions under Section 308 of the Indian Penal Code for attempt to commit culpable homicide.

The police has also sealed the factory, where the packaging of the vials was taking place in Surat district. The detained accused have been tested for Covid-19 and subject to their reports, they will be subsequently arrested.

Black marketing

Following severe shortage of the injection, some instances of black-marketing and illegal hoarding were also reported from different places of the State. The Minister informed that government is keeping a close vigil on such elements and they will be dealt with strict penal actions under various sections of the IPC having provisions of imprisonment of six months to seven years. There is also a provision of 2 years of imprisonment for violation of disaster management act, which is enforced in the State in the ongoing pandemic.

Published on May 02, 2021

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