‘Phensedyl’ Gang Arrested For Smuggling 9,000 Bottles Of Addictive Cough Syrup In UP

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Agra : A gang was caught with 9,000 bottles of an addictive cough syrup near Khalidabad on the Bihar-Uttar Pradesh border on Wednesday, August 10. According to Agra Police, 17 people, out of which five are residents of the city, were caught with bottles of cough syrup ‘Phensedyl’.

The cough medication, which has the chemical ingredients codeine and chlorpheniramine, is used in Bihar and Bangladesh as a substitute for liquor. Police officials are gathering evidence against all the gang members involved in the smuggling of codeine-laced cough syrup.

“This gang is involved in the smuggling of 90 per cent of Phensedyl in India. One of the medicine mafias of Agra was earlier arrested in a case of black marketeering of abortion kits,” Naresh Deepak Mohan, Assistant Commissioner of Medicines in Basti division, told India Today.

Meanwhile, a pharmacist in Agra told India Today that in 2018, Jetendra Arora and Kapil Arora of Agra were arrested in Punjab for black marketeering of medicines. The Punjab Special Task Force (STF) had also sealed three medicine godowns.

Similarly, in 2020, an international gang of medicine smugglers was uncovered and its kingpin, Pankaj Gupta, was arrested in Agra. Medicines from government hospital stock in Madhya Pradesh were found in his possession. The UP STF had arrested more than nine medicine mafias at that time.

In 2019, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) arrested Pradeep Kumar and Dheeraj Kumar Rajora of Agra for re-packaging expired and spurious medicines.

In 2020, AK Enterprises, a medicine supplier in Agra, was raided for black marketeering and smuggling of foetal sex-determination kits and abortion kits into Haryana and Rajasthan. The FDA had also cancelled its license.

A medicine department official told India Today that Bangladesh has a high demand for Phensedyl and the medicine mafias of Agra are sending about 80 percent of their cough syrup supplies to that country, which is worth lakhs.

Another official, Akhilesh Jain, said that the best way to avoid buying spurious medicine is to ask for a bill and match the batch number of all purchased medicines with the bill. Many medicine packages also come with a scan number, which is a sure-shot way to find out if a medicine is genuine.

Similarly, in 2021, a raid at Garhi Bhadoriya by the FDA uncovered a manufacturing factory where used surgical gloves, urine bags, and other items were being repacked and supplied.

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