Haryana’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Department has busted an international racket selling spurious injections for cancer, Home Minister Anil Vij said.

Four accused, including a foreign national, have been arrested in this case so far by a drug control officer, Vij said in a statement.

According to the minister, on April 11, 2023, the World Health Organisation raised an alert that “spurious injection ‘Defitelio 80 mg/ml, Batch no. 19G19A, Exp. 06/2023’ having the manufacturer’s label as ‘Genium Sri, Piazza XX, Septiembre 2, Villa Guardia, 22079, Italy’ is being marketed internationally”.

After the WHO alert, the Haryana FDA laid a trap on April 21 and a person, identified as Sandeep Bhui, was nabbed in Gurugram for “selling spurious injection Defitelio 80 mg/ml with the same batch number and manufacturer label to decoy customers for Rs 2.50 lakh”, the statement said.

Vij said that on April 21 itself, an email was sent to the original manufacturer whose name and address were on the label.

“The manufacturing company replied that the product was not authentic and further disclosed that the same batch was also identified in the United Arab Emirates and Kyrgyzstan.

“After confirmation regarding spurious product Defitelio 80 mg/ml from the manufacturing company, accused Sandeep Bhui was arrested by Amandeep Chauhan, Drugs Control Officer, Gurugram,” he said.

During interrogation, Bhui disclosed that he worked for Moti-Ur- Rahman Ansari, a resident of Okhla in Delhi, according to the statement.

“On April 28, Ansari was arrested. On Ansari’s disclosure, Kanishk Raj Kumar of Mata Mandir, Ramesh Nagar, Delhi was arrested by Chauhan on intervening night of May 9-10 from Sector 62, Noida,” Vij said.

He said that record regarding the sale of the spurious injection was also seized from the Kanishk’s premises.

“Kanishk revealed that a Turkish citizen, Mohammad Ali Tarmani, has been visiting his office since January 2023. He said he had been purchasing the drug in question from Tarmani for Rs 1.75 lakh and used to further sell it to his customers at the rate of Rs 2.50 lakh.

“He further disclosed that Tarmani was staying in a hotel in Mumbai. Tarmani’s mobile phone was put on surveillance and it was revealed that he was staying in a hotel in Colaba, Mumbai. After this, Drugs Control Officer Chauhan has arrested Tarmani in Mumbai with the help of the local police. The accused will be brought to Gurugram after completing all formalities,” the health minister said.

According to the statement, the WHO in its alert did not specify the origin of the spurious injection in question, therefore, Tarmani can be the key person for further investigation to know the origin of this spurious drug.