Abbot pharma in the dock for smuggling narcotic cough syrup to Bangladesh
news Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 05:30
The Crime Investigation Department (CID) of Telangana on Tuesday registered a case against a multinational pharmaceutical company and its associates for smuggling Rs 57.6 crore worth cough syrup containing narcotic components into Bangladesh filing fake bills. The smuggling ring came to light after the Drugs Control Administration (DCA) of Telangana launched a probe. More than 5,000 bottles of Phensedyl cough syrup produced by Abbott Health Care Pvt Ltd have been seized by customs officials while being smuggled into Bangladesh.Â The batch numbers on the seized cough syrup bottles indicated that they were supposed to be marketed in Nizamabad in Telangana. According to Dr Akun Sabharwal, Director of the DCA, Phensedyl syrup contains the narcotic compound codeine, which is a pain killer. However, Codeine is also the second-most predominant alkaloid in Opium, which makes it possible for the cough syrup to be abused. "Abbott Health Care Pvt Ltd transported stocks of Phensedyl from their Baddi plant in Himachal Pradesh to its Carrying & Forwarding depot at Uppal in Hyderabad. The depot then invoiced the stocks to specific distributors recruited by the state marketing managers and their subordinates. These `retailers' were billed large quantities of the stock, but investigation revealed that most of these `retailers' do not exist and some, who were there, have no idea of the activity," says Sabharwal, in a statement issued by the DCA. The DCA chief also added that the stock was delivered to certain individuals through 'DLS Transport', Nacharam, who pooled the stocks and sent them by train from Secunderabad to Kolkata. It was then taken across the border from Kolkata to Bangladesh where it was being misused. "As per the probe, we have realized that approximately Rs 57.6 crore worth syrup was diverted this way to make illegal gains,â€œ Sabharwal added. Headquartered in Mumbai, Abbott India Limited is a publicly listed company and a subsidiary of Abbott Laboratories. It is present in over 150 countries worldwide and employs more than 70,000 people. According to its website, Abbott India Limited employs over 2,600 people and reaches customers through a wide network of 35 distribution points, catering to over 4,500 stockists and 150,000 retail outlets. The DCA has registered nine cases against Abbott health Care Pvt Ltd and others.The DCA also lodged a complaint with the CID, Telangana. Based on the details submitted by DCA, the CID sleuths registered a case under sections 8, 21, 22 & 29 of the NDPS Act and IPC sections 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document).