Confidential operation, enforcement against spurious drugs continues; 5 more arrested from Varanasi

Bhubaneswar: In a major crackdown on spurious drugs racket and after a rigorous joint operation of nine days carried out by special task forces (STFs) of Odisha and Uttar Pradesh (UP), five accused persons namely Chandra Sekhar Singh (kingpin), Gourab Sharma, Ritesh Kumar Jaiswal, Subham Jaiswal and Abhishek Singh were arrested today from Varanasi in UP.

They have been taken into remand by Odisha Police (Bargarh PS). The team along with local Drug Inspector-City Amit Kumar Bansal and Drug Inspector-Rural Sanjay Dutt seized the suspected spurious drugs of about Rs 25 lakh, a relevant hard disk with a computer. They also traced a transaction of spurious drugs worth more than Rs 1 crore. In the same link, previously on 2nd March 2023, the STF Team of UP had also seized spurious drugs worth around Rs 7.3 crore based on a report from Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Health and Family Welfare department (H&FW) Odisha to her counterpart Aparna U of Uttar Pradesh.

A source said that the H&FW Department, Govt of Odisha, earlier constituted a special task force on Drug Enforcement comprising a senior administrative officer and selected officers of drugs control administration. On 19th January 2023, the team arrested an accused named Sunil Agrawal from Bargarh and lodged an FIR against Amit Kumar Sarwagi of Jharsuguda, who was found absconding.

The drugs so detected as spurious included some highly circulated brands in the market such as Antibiotics: IT-Mac 200 and Clavam 625 including a few others. These drugs were found supplied by three firms in Varanasi, UP:

1. M/s Baby Enterprises, D-48/71, Misir Pokhra Luxa Road, PS-Luxa, Varanasi district, UP, Pin-221010 (proprietor-Subham Jaiswal).
2. M/s JP Medicals, Swarved Mandir, PO-Umharhan, PS-Chaubeypur, Varanasi district, UP, Pin-221112 (proprietor-Jyoti Jyoti, D/o- Ramesh Lal).
3. M/s. Guru Kripa Medicals, At-CK-65/193, PO-Bari Piyari Nichibagh, PS-Chowk, Varanasi district, UP, Pin-221001 (proprietor-Abhisek Singh).

“For further probe, a team led by ADC-Bhubaneswar II Circle Dr. Sudarsan Biswal with Drug Inspector of Jharsuguda Range Sashmita Dehury and Drug Inspector of Bargarh Range Miss Sunita Nag, in a confidential operation, proceeded to Varanasi on April 17, 2023. The STF of UP provided all necessary assistance to us,” a senior official in the joint team stated.

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