MUMBAI : The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Tuesday arrested five people, including a Surat-based physician and his father, and seized 3,195 bottles of Codeine-based cough syrup (CBCS) worth ₹45 lakh in Bhiwandi.

The arrested accused have been identified as Dr Ankil Kholwadwala, 38, his father Jagdishchandra Kholwadwala, 67, their associates Imran Aslam Devkar, 42, and Girdhar Shivram Chatury, 37, and driver Fakruddin Momin, 40.

The agency had received information regarding an illegal sale of CBCS bottles along with other prescription drugs in Mumbai, Thane and adjoining areas. They learnt that Devkar was procuring consignments of illegally diverted prescription drugs and selling the same to peddlers in Bhiwandi. Further investigation revealed that the consignment was supplied by the Surat-based physician.

The agency then laid a trap and intercepted a vehicle in Bhiwandi on March 28 and seized 32 cartons containing 3,195 CBCS bottles. The vehicle driver Fakruddin Momin was taken into custody and during interrogation he confessed that the consignment was sent by Kholwadwala to Devkar. After questioning some people connected with Devkar, the agency learnt about Chatury’s involvement in the racket.

“With the help of Thane police, the NCB arrested Chatury and later Kholwadwala and Devkar in Palghar district,” NCB zonal director Amit Ghawate said.

During interrogation, Kholwadwala revealed the involvement of his father in the drug trafficking after which he too was apprehended. He also disclosed that the scheduled drugs were transported from Mohali in Punjab to Surat.

The NCB officials said the physician had set up a firm for procurement of drugs from manufacturers based in North India. Devkar was previously involved in street-level peddling in Mumbai and adjoining areas. Later, he came in contact with Kholwadwala, who motivated him to work as receiver-cum-distributor of certain drugs.

The agency has also seized two vehicles and other incriminating documents and learnt that the syndicate was spread across Punjab, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The arrested accused were involved in illicit diversion of certain prescription drugs which are covered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, the officials added.