Drug smugglers planning to smuggle COVID medication to Iraq by means of Vande Bharat flight busted

Sumedha Sharma

Tribune News Service

Gurugram, July 28

Having emerged as a COVID drug-smuggling hub, Gurugram has now caught the eye of worldwide smugglers as they’re now procuring COVID remedy medication and smuggling them overseas.

The Gurugram Drug Control Department has busted a drug-smuggling cartel that not solely hoarded the COVID remedy drug however was additionally to smuggle the identical to Iraq in an upcoming Vande Bharat flight.

Working as translators, three folks — together with two Iraqi males and one Uzbek girl — had been nabbed from Sector 47 together with the COVID remedy medication — Remdesivir (48 vials), Fabiflu (55 strips), Lopikast (18 packs).

Remdesivir prices Rs 5,400 a vial in India and is reportedly bought at Rs 1 lakh a vial in Iraq. Similarly, Fabiflu strip is bought at Rs 2,500 right here and is priced at Rs 8,000 there whereas Lopikast vila, which is bought at Rs 3,990 right here, is bought at Rs 15,000 there.

The trio, who’ve failed to supply any legitimate visas or passports, reportedly confessed attempting to money on the drug scarcity in Iraq and its excessive charges within the black market there.

“We got a tip-off and busted the racket. Amongst the seizure is medicines which are of compassionate use for the treatment of COVID-19. The three accused at the spot could not provide a valid passport and visa. They would procure the COVID drugs easily available on MRP from Gurugram and would send it to Iraq. We are investigating the racket further,” mentioned Gurugram Controller Amandeep Chauhan.

Sources declare that the cartel had someway procured the traveller listing of the forthcoming flight schedule for Iraq and deliberate to ship the medicines in small batches with the Iraqi nationals.

While these with medical illnesses had been to take these hidden amongst different medicines, others would have taken it shielded in different articles. Following the raid, the aviation authorities have been placed on alert for these medication being carried by any passenger.

According to state Drug Controller Narender Ahuja, all-district departments are on alert over black advertising and marketing makes an attempt of COVID remedy medication out there on the MRP in Haryana.

“We are overseeing procurement and the dispensing of the COVID-treatment drugs to patients and have arranged direct hospital-to-company supply chains to stop black marketing. Penal action shall be taken against those indulging in the same,” Ahuja added.

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