UP: 4 held for remdesivir black-marketing, NSA charges likely

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Noida (UP), Apr 28 (PTI) Four people were arrested in Uttar Pradesh's Greater Noida on Wednesday for alleged black-marketing of remdesivir injection, which is in shortage amid an increased demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, police said.

The roles of a contractual employee working in the office of the Gautam Buddh Nagar chief medical officer (CMO) and a lab technician working at the All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS) in Delhi have also come to light in the racket, they said.

According to officials, the accused were selling the life-saving drug at inflated costs of up to Rs 50,000 for a single vial of remdesivir to the needy people, as against its normal pricing which does not go beyond Rs 3,500.

Greater Noida Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Vishal Pandey said, 'The four accused were held by the Knowledge Park police station team and two remdesivir injections, considered life-saving drugs in this pandemic, were seized. Rs 49,600 cash was also seized from them while a Honda Civic car used by them has been impounded.' Those held have been identified as Shubham Goyal, Vaibhav Sharma, Shivam Sharma and Yogendra Singh, the police said, adding that they were found near a private hospital in Greater Noida.

Two other people - Vikash Kaushik, who works at the CMO office in Noida on contract basis, and Sumit, a lab technician at Delhi AIIMS - are also part of the racket and searches are on to arrest them, Pandey said.

The Additional DCP said an FIR has been lodged over the matter at the Knowledge Park police station while action would be initiated against the accused quartet under the stringent National Security Act (NSA) and the Gangster's Act as well. PTI KIS KJ KJ