In a major haul, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of Guwahati and Imphal has successfully busted an international trafficking network of precursors - the chemicals used in the manufacture of drugs.
This involved illegal trade of pseudoephedrine from India to Myanmar, officials said, adding that As many as seven people were arrested for their involvement in the racket.
The operation led to the seizure of 110.5 kilograms of pseudoephedrine in tablet form.
In an official statement, the NCB said that the key operator in this network, one Md Abdul Wakil who is a graduate of Jamia Millia Islamia and an MBA has been apprehended.
Notably tech-savvy, he utilized a business-to-business (B2B) platform for the trafficking of pseudoephedrine.
According to the NCB, he contacted one Bhadresh Patel of Recover Healthcare, Ahmedabad through “Tradeindia” and procured 1500 packets of Phifed tablets containing Pseudoephedrine HCl for which he used fake authorization prepared in the name of Elite Medical Store, Aizawl.
A total of 533 packets (110.5 kg) were part of 1500 packets of pseudoephedrine received by him, officials informed.
Additionally, two employees of Recover Healthcare, Nitin Kumar Panchal and Anilbhai Nayakawho were entrusted with the task of placing orders for pseudoephedrine and engaging in the fraudulent labelling of the products. The duo has also been arrested.
The mastermind behind the diversion of pseudoephedrine has been identified as Bhadresh Patel, the owner of Recover Healthcare based in Ahmedabad.
Further based on the statement of the accused, an investigation was carried out against Ardor Drugs Pvt Ltd, a pharmaceutical company based in Songadh, Tapi, Gujarat and it was found that Ardor Drugs Pvt Ltd supplied Phifed tablets without any label or marking and using bogus billing which indicates the only motive of diversion, later on, all the said packets of Phifed tablets were marked and labelled of Citrizine HCl 10 mg (Levocet) which contains non NDPS ingredients.
Harshal Desai, Director of Ardor Drugs Pvt. Ltd. and Mehul Desai, Ex-Director of Ardor Drugs Pvt Ltd was arrested by the NCB team executing the NBW issued by the Hon’ble Court. Both Harshal Desai and Mehul Desai are facing trial booked by DRI Surat for similar offences.
During the raid on various premises including offices, godowns, and residences, NCB discovered several counterfeit labels.
These include fake labels of "Levocet" by Sun View Biotech, and "Colzen" by Zenith Pharma. It is worth noting that 1.3 million tablets of "Colzen" were previously seized in Myanmar, highlighting the international nature of this illicit trade network.