Pune/Baramati, 17 April 2021: A shocking incident has come to light in Baramati where four persons were found selling fake vials of Remdesivir injection vial for Rs 35,000. An investigation by Pune rural police has revealed that the accused filled Paracetamol tablet liquid in empty vials of Remdesivir and sold them at an exorbitant price.
Acting on a tip-off, Baramati taluka police station officials laid a trap at Pencil Chowk in Baramati and arrested the two accused who arrived in a Fortuner car for selling two injections worth Rs 70,000 to the relative of a coronavirus (COVID-19) positive patient.
“We noticed that the seal of the bottle was broken and there were injection marks on the rubber lid. During interrogation, the accused said that they have put a liquid made from Paracetamol tablets in the empty vials of Remdesivir. Till now, they have sold seven such fake vials claiming them to be Remdesivir,” Police Inspector Mahesh Dhawan told PunekarNews.in
After further investigation, the police nabbed two more accused in the case. The arrested accused have been identified as Prashant Sidheshwar Gharat (23) of Bhawaninagar in Indapur taluka, Shankar Dada Bhise (22), Dilip Dnyandev Gaikwad (35), both residents of Katewadi in Baramati taluka, and Sandeep Sanjay Gaikwad (20) of Bhigwan in Indapur taluka.
An FIR has been registered against them at Baramati Taluka police station for offences under Sections 420 (cheating), 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and relevant sections of the Drug Prices Control Order, the Essential Commodities Act as well as the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
Police have also seized the Fortuner vehicle used in the crime. Sandeep Gaikwad was working as a ward boy in a hospital. He used to fill Paracetamol tablet liquid in an empty vial of Remdesivir and give it to Dilip Gaikwad who then sold the vials through Shankar Bhise and Prashant Gharat. Police have seized three such vials from their possession.
The action was taken under the guidance of Superintendent of Police (Pune rural) Dr Abhinav Deshmukh, Additional SP (Baramati division) Milind Mohite, and DySP (Baramati division) Narayan Shirgaokar. The team included Inspector Mahesh Dhawan, Assistant Police Inspector Mahesh Vidhate, and their team members as well as staff from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Police have appealed to the people to not buy Remdesivir through an agent as the injection will be given to the patient by the hospital. The doctors have to provide Remdesivir only to COVID-19 patients as per the treatment protocol.