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7 arrested trying to sell Remdesivir from Bangladesh, seized 150 vials sent to lab
In a major operation, TN police seized over 150 vials of Remdesivir medicines (Ninavir) which were allegedly smuggled from Bangladesh. The operation by the special team led by Chennai police led to the arrest of seven people, including three in the city.
The accused were identified as S Vishnu Kumar, Virudhunagar, Shanmugam and his brother Ganesan from Kovilpatti, Praveen Kumar of Tirunelveli, B Bhuvaneswar, Maduravoyal and R Nishit Bandari, from Kondithope. The operation was based on a tip-off from the special team of police, East Zone, Chennai.
Sub-inspector Ilayaraja, who led the special team, said they received inputs on a person delivering Remdesivir medicines in the city based on WhatsApp orders. “Our team contacted the man and he demanded Rs 26,000 for a vial and Rs 1.60 lakh for six vials,” he said. The team then nabbed S Vishnu Kumar, native of Virudhunagar, and a pharma staff of a private hospital when he arrived near the Kandigai bus stop for delivery. After interrogating him, further arrests were made. Shanmugam from Kovilpatti who had couriered Vishnu 10 vials was arrested along with his brother Ganeshan and 42 vials seized.
Shanmugam said he received vials from Praveen Kumar of Tirunelveli. The police then caught Praveen who said he got supplies from Medistar Health Care Ltd., a pharma company in Maduravoyal. On Friday, city police nabbed Bhuvaneswar who owns the company and found he had sent the vials through courier after receiving it from R Nishit Bandari, who runs a wholesale distribution unit in Kondithope. The police also seized seven vials from him and 145 vials from Bhuvaneswar.
Bandari received the vials from another pharma company in Hyderabad who imported them from Bangladesh, police said. V Balakrishnan, Joint Commissioner of Police, East Zone, said the vials were sent to the lab to ascertain if they were genuine.