Mumbai: Mastermind in chemotherapy drugs fraud arrested

Updated: Dec 17, 2017, 20:03 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

Dr Ranvir Singh of Taj Pharmaceutical Company had been absconding since 2016; three other accused still at large

The crime branch has arrested the mastermind of the alleged racket where substandard and mislabelled chemotherapy injections were being sold to a company in Israel. Dr Ranvir Singh, director of Mumbai-based Taj Pharmaceutical Company, who was arrested on Saturday, and three others have been accused of allegedly buying substandard injections, changing the labels on them to that of a renowned Pune-based pharma company and exporting them to Israel at exorbitant prices.

Dr Ranvir Singh, the mastermind
Dr Ranvir Singh, the mastermind

While the fraud was discovered last year, Singh has been absconding ever since. The police recently received reliable information that Singh, who had gone underground after police arrested his aide, Sudhir Singh alias Rajiv Bhatia, was hiding in a hotel in Andheri. In the early hours of Saturday, the police arrested Singh from Andheri's Park View hotel. He was produced at the Esplanade court and was remanded in police custody till December 20.

According to Crime Branch officers, in December 2015, the accused were discovered supplying injections of the drug Carmustine, which is used in chemotherapy. Dr Singh and his family allegedly bought around 520 substandard Carmustine injections worth about Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 each and then labelled them with the BiCNU tag. The rights for selling BiCNU are held solely by the Pune-based Emcure Pharmaceuticals. Taj Pharmaceutical Company then allegedly sold the injections for Rs 50,000 each to an Israeli company. Taj claimed to have secured BiCNU for sale in the domestic market. The company is said to have tampered with the batch numbers and other details of the injections, and sold it without any authorisation to Raz Pharmaceuticals in Israel. The unauthorised export was discovered after a call Emcure received from Raz.

Emcure then sued Taj in 2016 for facilitating the export of the substandard batch by using its brand name. Singh's son Abhishek, and daughter, Priyanka, who are directors in the company, are also wanted accused in the case. Now, cops are also looking for his other son, Shantanu, as his involvement, too, was discovered. He is believed to be in London.

Rs 50k The amount each injection was sold for by Taj Pharmaceutical Company to an Israeli company

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