The tablets recovered are worth about Rs 25 lakh, officials said
GREATER NOIDA: After the Maharashtra police made several arrests of wholesale drug dealers, pharma lab employee and owner of the Max Relief Healthcare for the alleged manufacture of fake medicines used in Covid-19 treatment, Gautam Budh Nagar police finally busted a now-closed factory where the “fake” drugs were possibly being packaged and sold to different states.
A cache of fake medicines including Azithromycin and Favipravir, packaging material and other packaging machines worth around Rs 50 lakh was recovered from the spot. The tablets recovered are worth about Rs 25 lakh, officials said.
The factory had possibly been shut two days ago coinciding with the period during which multiple arrests were made by Mumbai police.
The factory located at 241, Udyog Kendra was raided by a team of Ecotech III police, the drug inspector Vaibhav Babbar and the naib tehsildar Sachin Pawar late Tuesday evening.
The factory was being run on the premises owned by one Sheeshpal Sharma who was summoned by the Ecotech III police to come and explain to whom he had rented the premises.
Ecotech III SHO, Bhubanesh Kumar said that a huge cache of loose tablets, packaging material, wrappers and packaging machines was recovered from the spot.
“We have called the owner of the premises, Sheeshpal Sharma, but he has not come so far,” he said.
Additional DCP (central Noida) Ankur Aggarwal said that fake medicines related to Covid treatment were being manufactured and supplied from the factory which was raided after the arrests by Mumbai police from Mumbai and Meerut.
Upon reaching the spot, the team, however, found the premises locked and had to break open the lock.
“The factory was opened here about a month back,” he said adding that it was taken on rent by the owner.
Mumbai police had arrested Ghaziabad resident Sudeep Mukherjee, owner of Max Relief owner, after it was found that the company’s GB Nagar establishment had been selling drugs to wholesalers in the state without a license.
After the FDA received information, it directed other states to stop using drugs from this manufacturer.
On May 30, Mukherjee joined the FDA investigation but produced a photocopy of a license which appeared to be fake. The FDA did not find any relevant documents for production and sale of drugs, leading to Mukherjee’s arrest.
Subsequently, Mumbai police cops reached UP’s Meerut and nabbed Sandeep Mishra, an employee of a pharma lab who was allegedly manufacturing fake Favipravir tablets for Mukherjee who would later sell them off.
Cops had found that while Mishra prepared the tablets, another accused did the packaging after which the tablets would be sold off.
The Maharashtra food and drugs administration (FDA) had raided three wholesale drug dealers in Mumbai and seized a stock of Favimax 400 and 200 (Favipravir tablets) and hydroxychloroquine tablets worth Rs 1.5 crore.
These tablets were manufactured by Max Relief Healthcare in Solan, Himachal Pradesh but it was found that the company did not exist.