Pune: Black marketing of Remdesivir is making COVID-19 worse; five more arrested

Pune Police on Thursday arrested five more people who were allegedly trying to sell the Remdesivir at seven to 12 times its MRP
Remdesivir vials
Remdesivir vialsImage source: Twitter

Pune: In continuation of busting the black-marketing of anti-viral drug Remdesivir, the Pune Police on Thursday arrested five more people who were allegedly trying to sell the injections at seven to 12 times its MRP (Maximum Retail Price).

The Crime Branch of Pune City Police arrested five people in two different cases for selling Remdesivir used in COVID-19 treatment at exorbitant price. The Crime Branch of Pune City had earlier nabbed two in separate operations and have seized three vials of Remdesivir from them. Till date, seven people are behind the bars in a black marketing of Remdesivir case. The operations were conducted in organisation with drug inspectors from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Remdesivir vials
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In the first of the two operations, the police acted on a tip-off that a man was trying to sell the drug which is in huge demand at Rs 10,000 per vial. The government has set a cap of Rs 1,100 and Rs 1,400 for the sale of Remdesivir. In the subsequent joint operation of the police and the FDA, a trap was laid where a decoy customer was sent to Wagholi and a suspect identified as Rohidas Gore was apprehended. Two injections were recovered from him.

Another operation was conducted in the city after police received information that some people were selling Remdesivir at Rs 18,000 (per vial) in Nagar Road area. The sleuths from the Crime Branch along with the FDA laid a trap and sent a decoy customer, ultimately leading to the arrest of four people. The police recovered two vials here. The operations were conducted by team members from Unit 4 of Pune City Crime Branch.

Remdesivir vials
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All five accused arrested in different cases have been identified as, Mohammad Mehboob Pathan, Imtiaz Ajmeri, Parvez Shaikh, Ashwin Solanki and Rohidas Gore. All accused are booked under Section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), relevant sections of the Drug Price Control Order 2013, Essential Commodities Act and Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

Meanwhile, amid shortage of the anti-viral drug, cases of black marketing have been reported, in which the Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad police have already launched a massive operation. Pune city police has set up as many as 10 teams to keep a check on a black-marketing and illegal sale of Remdesivir which is in high demand against the backdrop of rising cases of COVID-19 in Pune and around Maharashtra.

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