The Special Task Force (STF) of the Odisha Crime Branch on Thursday arrested the prime accused in connection with spurious drugs trade in the State.
The accused identified as Siba Jena is the Managing Director of Medilloyd Medicament Private Limited. Further investigation into the case is underway, said STF officials.
He had moved the Orissa High Court praying for anticipatory bail in the case and his application is pending, the official said.
Earlier yesterday, the STF had arrested three persons including one of the directors and two staff of the company in connection with the counterfeit drugs trade.
The three accused have been forwarded to the court and cash deposits worth around Rs 50 lakh on their name have been seized.
Recently, a huge stock of spurious ‘Favipiravir’, a prescribed drug for Covid-19 treatment, was seized from a chemist shop in Cuttack.
M/s. Medilloyd Medicament Private Limited in Kanika Chhak, Cuttack was raided on June 11 by Drugs Inspectors for the procurement and stocking of spurious Favipiravir Tablets (Favimax-400), allegedly manufactured by M/s. Max Relief Health Care, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, reportedly a non-existing manufacturer.
Out of the available stock of 17,400 tablets, 400 tablets were drawn for statutory testing and the balance 17,000 tablets were confiscated under the provision of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act and Rules thereunder.
Following the seizure of spurious drugs in Cuttack, the State government initiated a major crackdown on medicine outlets across the State to investigate the root of the duplicate drugs trade.
At present, three teams are investigating the matter in Odisha, Maharashtra and West Bengal, the official said.
The Odisha STF launched the raids following a tip-off from the Food and Drugs Administration, Maharashtra, on spurious Favipiravir tablets allegedly manufactured by the company in Himachal Pradesh.
Of the available stock of 17,400 tablets, 400 were taken for statutory testing and the remaining ones were seized under the provision of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act and Rules.
(Edited by Suryakant Jena)