Pradeep Pattanayak

In a major success, Bolangir Police, under its ‘Mission Cough Syrup’, a crackdown against the cough syrup mafia, busted an interstate organized racket on Sunday. Police arrested 35 cough syrup mafia members and seized 'Eskuf' cough syrup bottles worth Rs 35 lakh. Besides, the police have frozen Rs 2 crore in the bank account of a supplier company. 

The racket is said to be the largest one so far the Bolangir Police has busted.

On the basis of local and technical intelligence and pieces of evidence gathered during the investigation, the police not only busted the racket involved in illegal procurement, transportation and selling of Eskuf Syrup in Bolangir and neighbouring district, but also destroyed the entire chain ranging from Bolangir to West Bengal. 

During the operation, the police also seized one country-made pistol, one Mahindra XUV vehicle, two Mahindra Pick-Up vans, one Tata ACE vehicle, two motorcycles, Rs 7,500 in cash, 17 mobile phones, gold ornaments and other articles. An amount of Rs. 2.00 Crores belonging to the supplier company namely M/s. Daffodil Drugs Pvt. Ltd, Kolkata, West Bengal has been frozen by police.
Briefing journalists about the success, Bolangir Superintendent of Police Nitin Kushalkar on Monday said, “We are fighting against organized crime in an organized manner. A team worked for a month. Before swooping down on them, they had gathered sufficient information from different sources and different locations.”

“The modus operandi of the cough syrup mafia is that they collect and distribute in the wee hours like at 3 am, 4 am and 5 am. This is why the police had to work round the clock to bust the racket. After collecting information, they processed and analyzed them. Sana Negi and Prashant Kheti are the two major players in the racket. Prashant Kheti has been arrested and Sana Negi will soon be nabbed,” informed the district’s top cop. 

“During interrogation, one of the accused informed us that M/s. Daffodil Drugs Pvt. Ltd, Kolkota, West Bengal was receiving some money for this illegal trade. We will verify whether this money is crime proceeds," he added.