GUWAHATI: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Guwahati, Assam and Imphal, Manipur dismantled an international trafficking network of precursors (chemicals used in the manufacture of drugs).

This involved the illegal trade of pseudoephedrine from India to Myanmar.

The operation led to the seizure of 110.5 kilograms of pseudoephedrine in tablet form and Seven persons have been arrested so far.

The operation led to the seizure of 110.5 kilograms of pseudoephedrine in tablet form and seven persons have been arrested so far.

“The key operator in this network, Md Abdul Wakil who is a graduate of Jamia and an MBA has been apprehended. A tech-savvy boy, Abdul utilized a business-to-business (B2B) platform for the trafficking of pseudoephedrine. He contacted one Bhadresh Patel of Recover Healthcare, Ahmedabad through ‘Tradeindia’ and procured 1500 packets of Phifed tablets containing Pseudoephedrine HCl for which he used fake authorization prepared in the name of Elite Medical Store, Aizawl,” said an MNCB official.

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“Seized 533 packets (110.5 kg) were part of 1500 packets of pseudoephedrine received by him. Two employees of Recover Healthcare, Nitin Kr Panchal and Anilbhai Nayaka, have been arrested who were entrusted with the task of placing orders for pseudoephedrine and engaging in the fraudulent labelling of the products,” the official said.

“The mastermind behind the diversion of Pseudoephedrine has been identified as Bhadresh Patel, the owner of Recover Healthcare based in Ahmedabad who was also arrested later,” he said.

Further based on the statement of the arrestee, an investigation was carried out against Ardor Drugs Pvt Ltd, a pharmaceutical company based in Songadh, Tapi, Gujarat and it was found that Ardor Drugs Pvt Ltd supplied Phifed tablets without any label or marking and using bogus billing which indicates the only motive of diversion.

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Later on, all the packets of Phifed tablets were marked and labelled with Cetirizine HCl 10 mg (Levocet) which contains non-NDPS ingredients, he also said.

Harshal Desai, Director of Ardor Drugs Pvt Ltd and Mehul Desai, former director of Ardor Drugs Pvt Ltd were arrested by the NCB team in this connection.

“Both Harshal Desai and Mehul Desai are facing trial booked by DRI Surat for similar offences. M/s Ardor Drugs Pvt Ltd on paper supplied huge quantity of pseudoephedrine tablets to M/s Recover Healthcare owned by Bhadresh Patel and for this, the huge commission was also paid to Bhadresh Patel,” the official further said.

During the raid on various premises including offices, godowns, and residences, the NCB discovered several counterfeit labels.

These include fake labels of “Levocet” by Sun View Biotech, and “Colzen” by Zenith Pharma. It is worth noting that 1.3 million tablets of “Colzen” were previously seized in Myanmar, highlighting the international nature of this illicit trade network, he added.