Four individuals have been arrested for allegedly stealing medicines from the operation theatre at Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel and selling them in the market for dirt-cheap prices. Of these, two were hospital staff members and the Bhoiwada police claims this racket has been going on for the past six years.
Agent Raju Bagade and wholesaler Rakesh Babariya were arrested from Kandivli on Friday and Saturday respectively
According to the police, the staff members were identified as Ajit Karodiya (27), a sweeper, and Dinesh Dodiya (24), a ward boy. The duo would rob medicines from the operation theatre and hand them over to an agent Raju Bagade.
Assistant Police Inspector Suraj Mulani from Bhoiwada police station said, “Doctors usually ask relatives of the patients to get extra medicines or equipment that may be used in an operation. These staff members would steal the unused ones. For example, after stealing goods worth R4,000, they would sell it to Bagade for R400.”
Bagade would then pass on the medicines to Rakesh Babariya, a wholesaler of medicines, for double the price. Babariya would sell it back to the medical stores. Mulani further added, “Bagade is also a good friend of Karodiya, because of which the whole plan was executed. After buying medicines for R400 from Karodiya, he sold it ahead to Babariya for R800 and Babariya, being a wholesaler, resent it to the market.”
The racket came to light when a hospital watchman, Jaywant Ghorpade, witnessed the two staffers taking away the stolen medicines in a sack.
“He then informed us, after which we registered the case, made him the complainant and arrested the duo on November 2. When the whole operation was revealed, the other two were also nabbed. There are few other accused wanted in the case,” said Senior Police Inspector Sunil Tondwalkar from Bhoiwada police station. Both Bagade and Babariya were nabbed from Kandivli on Friday and Saturday respectively.
The four accused were booked under sections 381 (theft by clerk or servant of property in possession of master), 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. They have been remanded in police custody.
Police have also recovered medicines and equipment worth R2.4 lakh from the two staff members and Bagade.