As the entire nation is in combat mode against the deadly pandemic amidst an acute shortage of Remdesivir injections, some miscreants have used the opportunity to make profits by black marketing the key anti-viral drug which is in high demand due to scarce supply.
Three black marketers including a delivery boy and a cloth trader landed into the custody of the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police commissionerate after they were caught red-handed while selling vials of the anti-Covid drug at higher than prescribed rates in Mira Road.
The action followed in response to a complaint filed with the police commissioner by the kin of a Covid positive patient in need of the injections. A team from the Tulinj police station led by PSI Dnyaneshwar Kokate under the instructions of Senior Police Inspector Rajendra Kamble deputed a decoy customer and established contact with the accused. After striking the deal, the team laid a trap and apprehended the trio from the Naya Nagar area of Mira Road while accepting Rs. 13,500 for a single 100 mg vial on Monday.
“We have recovered three vials from their possession and also seized three bikes. A detailed probe is underway to ascertain the source of supply and also to find out how many vials have been sold by them so far,” said investigating officer PSI Kokate.
The accused have been identified as Sammiullah Farookh Shaikh (21), Mohd. Irshaad Hanan (26) and Mohd. Tabrez Shaikh (21), all residents of Mira Road.
Apart from slapping cases for violating the Disaster Management and Epidemic Act, the Tulinj police have registered an offence under the relevant sections of the IPC, Essential Commodity Act, Drugs and Cosmetics Act against the trio who have been remanded to custody.
Despite a crackdown on illegal delivery channels of the antiviral drug, some black-marketers are openly selling them at highly inflated prices depending on the urgency of the buyer.