17 held with 9k bottles of addictive cough syrup in UP
Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Police have arrested 17 persons with 9,000 bottles of an addictive cough syrup near Khalidabad along the state’s border with neighbouring Bihar.
Five of the accused, who are residents of state capital Lucknow, were allegedly caught with bottles of cough syrup ‘Phensedyl’.
Naresh Deepak Mohan, Assistant Commissioner of Medicines in Basti division, said, “This gang is involved in the smuggling of 90 per cent of Phensedyl in India. One of the medicine mafias of Agra was earlier arrested in a case of black marketing of abortion kits.”
The cough syrup, which contains the chemical ingredients codeine and chlorpheniramine, is used in Bihar and Bangladesh as a substitute for liquor.
The Police officials are gathering evidence against all the gang members involved in the smuggling of codeine-laced cough syrup.
Meanwhile, sources said that two of the accused, Jitendra Arora and Kapil Arora, both hailing from Agra, were earlier arrested in Punjab for black marketing of medicines.
The Punjab Special Task Force (STF) had also sealed three medicine godowns.
Earlier, in 2020, an international gang of medicine smugglers was uncovered and its kingpin Pankaj Gupta was arrested in Agra.
Medicines from government hospital stock in Madhya Pradesh were found in his possession. The Uttar Pradesh STF had arrested more than nine medicine mafias at that time.
In 2019, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) arrested Pradeep Kumar and Dheeraj Kumar Rajora, both hailing from Agra, for re-packaging expired and spurious medicines.
In 2020, A.K. Enterprises, a medicine supplier in Agra, was raided for black marketing and smuggling of foetal sex-determination kits and abortion kits into Haryana and Rajasthan. The FDA had also cancelled its license.
A Uttar Pradesh Health department official said that Bangladesh has a high demand for Phensedyl and 80 per cent of their cough syrup supplies are to that country.