GUWAHATI: The Guwahati and Imphal units of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) achieved a major success in its crusade against drugs after they busted an international drugs network and arrested seven individuals from various states on August 16. The NCB also seized 110.5 kg of pseudoephedrine – a chemical commonly used in drug manufacturing – in tablet form from their possession.
Stating that the network was deeply entrenched in the illicit trade of pseudoephedrine from India to Myanmar, the NCB officials told the press that among the seven arrested individuals, one key figure was identified as Md. Abdul Wakil, the mastermind behind the racket. A MBA degree holder, Wakil ingeniously leveraged modern technology to conduct his operations, the officials said.
Wakil’s modus operandi involved exploiting a business-to-business (B2B) platform for the illicit trafficking of pseudoephedrine. Using the ‘Tradeindia’ platform, he established contact with one Bhadresh Patel of Recover Healthcare in Ahmedabad. Through this connection, Wakil managed to obtain 1,500 packets of Phifed tablets containing pseudoephedrine HCl. To facilitate this process, he resorted to forging fake authorisations in the name of Elite Medical Store, Aizawl. These actions came to light through a statement issued by the NCB.
Out of the total 1,500 packets of pseudoephedrine, 533 packets (equivalent to 110.5 kg) were seized from Wakil. This marked a significant blow to his operation. Furthermore, the NCB managed to apprehend one Nitin Panchal and Anilbhai Nayaka, employees of Recover Healthcare. These individuals were entrusted with the responsibility of placing orders for pseudoephedrine and engaging in deceptive labeling practices.
The key orchestrator behind the pseudoephedrine diversion scheme was revealed to be Bhadresh Patel, the proprietor of Recover Healthcare. Subsequently, Patel was also taken into custody.
Based on information gleaned from the arrested individuals, the NCB launched a probe into a pharmaceutical company based in Gujarat. This company had been supplying Phifed tablets without proper labeling, employing fraudulent billing practices. Subsequently, the Phifed tablet packets were rebranded as Citrizine HCl 10 mg (Levocet), a product containing non-Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) ingredients.
The investigative efforts led to the apprehension of Harshal Desai and Mehul Desai, both associated with the pharmaceutical company from Gujarat. These individuals were not only directors but also former directors of the company. It is worth noting that they were already facing trial after being charged by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in Surat for similar offenses.