Remdesivir vials worth Rs 5 lakh seized in Gujarat; 5 nabbed

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Ahmedabad, Apr 28 (PTI) Five persons were arrested on Wednesday in Gujarat with 90 Remdesivir injections worth Rs 4.86 lakh which they were planning to sell in the black market, police officials said.

Four of them were arrested from Vadodara city, while the fifth one was nabbed from Anand town, they said.

This was the biggest haul of Remdesivir injections recovered by the police in Gujarat from black marketeers so far, said Vadodara police commissioner Shamsher Singh.

Remdesivir injections, widely used to treat critical coronavirus patients, are in high demand nationwide after the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

While 45 vials were recovered from four residents of Vadodara city, the remaining 45 injections were seized from the fifth accused, Jatin Patel, a native of neighbouring Anand town, Singh told reporters in Vadodara.

The other accused were identified by the police as Rishi Jedhe, Vikas Patel, Pratik Panchal and Manan Shah, all residents of Vadodara.

All the five accused are into trading of pharma products, the police officer said.

Based on a tip-off, the Vadodara crime branch nabbed Jedhe as soon as he reached the Subhanpura area of the city to deliver Remdesivir injections to a person, said Singh.

'We then nabbed the four others. In all, we recovered 90 vials worth Rs 4.86 lakh (each costing Rs 5,400) from the five persons.

'They were selling each vial for up toRs 20,000. They confessed to have sold around 300 injections till now and had planned to sell another 300 in the black market,' he said.

He said the kingpin of the racket was Jatin Patel, who runs a pharmaceutical agency in Anand and used to procure Remdesivir from one Vivek Shah, who runs a pharmacy.

The alleged role of Vivek Shah in the racket is under investigation, Singh said. PTI PJT RSY RSY