Pune, 11th April 2021: The sleuths from the Crime Branch of Pune city police have arrested a nurse and her accomplice for allegedly doing black marketing of Remdesivir injection.
The anti-viral injection is used for the treatment of serious Coronavirus disease (COVID19) positive patients. One patient needs six injections. At present, it is in high demand in Pune due to an exponential increase in the number of patients.
According to police, a team led by Assistant Police Inspector Juber Mujawar of the anti-dacoity and anti-vehicle theft squad was patrolling in the Katraj area on Saturday, when policeman Ganesh Dhage received a tip-off that a man was selling Remdesivir injection at a high cost. The cops alerted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and sought their assistance in the case.
Later API Mujawar sent a decoy customer to the accused who sold him the injection for Rs 7,000. Police arrested the accused identified as Prithviraj Sandip Mulik (22) of Duttnagar in Katraj. He had got the injection vile from nurse Nilima Kisan Ghodekar of Golden Care Hospital, Bhumkar Chowk, Wakad. She was also arrested.
An FIR has been registered against them at Bharati Vidyapeeth police station for offences under sections 420 (cheating), 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant sections of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order 2013, Essential Commodity Act and Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940.
DCP (Crime Branch) Shriniwas Ghadge said that Pune police have launched a special drive to check the black marketing of Remdesivir injections. All the police stations and 10 teams of the Crime Branch are engaged in the operation.
Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta has appealed to the citizens to inform police if they have information about black marketing of Remdesivir injection.
The action was taken under the guidance of Additional Commissioner (Crime) Ashok Morale, DCP Ghadge and ACP (Crime 1) Surendranath Deshmukh. The team included Senior Police Inspector Shilpa Chavan, API Juber Mujawar, and police personnel Nilesh Shivtare, Dhananjay Tajne, Ganesh Patole, Atul Menge, Maggi Jadhav, Ganesh Dhage, Sumit Takpere, Shrikant Dagde, Hrishikesh Kolap and Chetan Holkar.
In the last 10-15 days, there has been a severe shortage of Remdesivir injections. The relatives of patients are seen searching for the injections in medical stores in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad. Some chemists were selling them for Rs 5000 per injection. But now the demand has increased so much that one injection is being sold for upto Rs 15,000 in the black market. From today, the District Collector has banned the sale of Remdesivir injection outside and the hospitals have to provide them to patients at a government rate (Rs 1100-1400).
Earlier on Friday, officials from Pimpri Chinchwad Police’s social security cell had arrested four persons including two brothers who worked at different hospitals, for the black marketing of Remdesivir injections.