Remdesivir
Marco Verch/Creative Commons

Valsad (Guj)” A top executive of a Daman-based pharmaceutical company and his aide have been arrested from Valsad district in Gujarat for allegedly black marketing Remdesivir drug, which is in high demand for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, police said on Sunday.

The arrested duo is identified as Manish Singh, Technical Director of Daman-based Bruck Pharma, and his acquaintance Varun Kundra, who owns a furniture shop in Daman, said Valsad district superintendent of police Rajdeepsinh Zala.

They were arrested from Vapi town in Valsad district on April 15 and 18 vials of Remdesivir injections were recovered from them, he said.

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Notably, Mumbai Police on Saturday night questioned Bruck Pharma director Rajesh Dokania on information that at least 60,000 Remdesivir vials are being exported through air cargo, despite a ban on the export of the drug.

“Acting on a specific tip-off, Valsad police set up a trap after learning that Varun Kundra was selling Remdesivir injections at a very high price without any license.

“When one of our policemen approached Kundra posing as a relative of a patient, he agreed to sell one injection for Rs 12,000 and 12 injections for Rs 1.44 lakh. As soon as he showed one vial, other police personnel caught him. Kundra claimed that he purchased the drug from his friend Manish Singh,” said Zala.

Kundra was then told to call Singh, a resident of Vapi, to the spot with six more vials of the injection for a customer, he said.

“Singh was caught with six injections as soon as he reached the spot,” the SP said.

As per the preliminary investigation, Singh came in contact with Kundra when the former had visited his shop to purchase some furniture recently.

“Bruck Pharma has the license to manufacture and export Remdesivir injections,” said Zala.

Since Remdesivir is in high demand, Kundra planned to earn a quick buck and acquired 12 injections from Singh which he planned to sell at a price much higher than the MRP, the police officer said.

“Singh did not have any license or doctor’s prescription to sell or store Remdesivir injections. He had also planned to sell those six injections for profit. We arrested both the accused and recovered 18 vials,” said Zala.

A case has been registered on the charge of cheating and other sections of the Essential Commodities Act, the Disaster Management Act, and the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, he added.

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