Prime accused in fake Covid medicine circulation case held in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar, Jun 24 (PTI) A day after arresting three persons for allegedly being involved in the fake Covid-19 medicine trade, the Odisha Police captured the prime accused in the case on Thursday, an official said.

The managing director of Medilloyd Medicament Private Limited, which stored above 17,400 fake medicines, was arrested in Cuttack.

He had moved the Orissa High Court praying for anticipatory bail in the case and his application is pending, the official said.

The Special Task Force of the Crime Branch arrested a director and two other key officials of the Cuttack-based company on Wednesday. The STF also froze multiple bank accounts containing over Rs 50 lakh linked to the three persons and the company.

Four persons were arrested in the case so far.

The STF had earlier seized FAVIMAX-200 and FAVIMAX- 400, variants of Favipiravir which is an anti-viral medication used in treating coronavirus patients, from a chemist shop in Cuttack.

A health department team raided the premises of the Medilloyd Medicament Private Limited on June 11 for allegedly procuring and stocking spurious medicines.

The Cuttack firm had procured the Favimax tablets from Max Relief Health Care, a non-existent company claiming to be manufacturing drugs at Solan in Himachal Pradesh, at a rate of Rs 65 per strip of 10 tablets and sold them at Rs 1,290 per strip.

At present, three teams are investigating the matter in Odisha, Maharashtra and West Bengal, the official said.

The Odisha government launched the raids following a tip-off from the Food and Drugs Administration, Maharashtra, on spurious Favipiravir tablets allegedly manufactured by the company in Himachal Pradesh.

Of the available stock of 17,400 tablets, 400 were taken for statutory testing and the remaining ones were seized under the provision of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act and Rules.

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