Multiple Pharmaceutical Firms Under Scrutiny For Illicit Drug Manufacturing & Distribution: ED Probe

Multiple Pharmaceutical Firms Under Scrutiny For Illicit Drug Manufacturing & Distribution: ED Probe

The investigation into the alleged drug network of Ali Asgar Shirazi by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has revealed that his associate Abdul Samad procured large quantities of psychotropic medicines and opioids from various pharmaceutical companies across the country with the help of retailers, distributors, and other persons.

Ashish SinghUpdated: Wednesday, July 03, 2024, 12:31 AM IST
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Multiple Pharmaceutical Firms Under Scrutiny For Illicit Drug Manufacturing & Distribution: ED Probe | File

Mumbai: The investigation into the alleged drug network of Ali Asgar Shirazi by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has revealed that his associate Abdul Samad procured large quantities of psychotropic medicines and opioids from various pharmaceutical companies across the country with the help of retailers, distributors, and other persons. These drugs were transported to Ahmedabad and Lucknow, and then to Mumbai.

At Shirazi’s Andheri office in Mumbai, these drugs were concealed in sarees and other garments, besides food items, and dispatched to international destinations, including the United States and the United Kingdom, just before the Covid-19 pandemic, the agency has stated in its prosecution complaint.

The ED has claimed that several pharma companies are under its radar as its probe has uncovered a complex manufacturing and supply network aimed at evading accountability. As per the agency, some firms have been producing drugs and opioids and funnelling them into illicit distribution networks with fraudulent sale and supply bills.

The ED has identified a key supplier, Ram Lakhan Patel, who, in his statement, has named several companies involved in manufacturing these banned substances. He named M/s Tanpal Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd, based in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, that manufactured opioid Tramadol under the brand name TMD. This painkiller medication, identified as a ‘fighter drug’, has reportedly been used by the ISIS terrorist organisation. It was sold to M/s Son Pharma in Vapi, which allegedly showed bogus sales and supplied it to M/s JD Pharma in Lucknow.

As per the ED, Patel has disclosed that Tanpal Pharma also manufactured Zolpidem, another banned drug, which was supplied to M/s Curology Pharma in Chandigarh, which then transferred it to Son Pharma with fraudulent sales records obscuring the actual distribution route to JD Pharma in Lucknow.

According to Patel, Dhiraj from JD Pharma was his associate tasked with procuring and distributing consignments to Shirazi and others drug dealers. Sources indicated that the supply – first to Son Pharma and then to Dhiraj at JD Pharma – was strategically planned to mislead authorities.

According to Patel, he was associated with Gadhesaria Rasikbhai Nayan of M/s Nishal Healthcare Pvt Ltd, which was also responsible for procuring drugs and opioids from several other pharma firms. Nishal Healthcare procured opioid R-Lam from Gwalior-based Aran Pharma. To manufacture Tramadol under the brand name Trakem, they turned to M/s Elikem Pharmaceutical and M/s S B Lifesciences. For opioid tablets, they used M/s Neurovision. Patel himself prepared fake bills, and the actual stock was sent to Abdul Samad in Ahmedabad.

As per the ED, Patel also disclosed the role of one Ashish Shukla from Kanpur, who distributed Oltram (tramadol) manufactured by HAB Pharmaceuticals. With bogus sales to pharma distributors and retailers on record, the actual stock was sent to Samad.

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