India’s Narcotics Control Bureau seizes 55,000 zolpidem tablets in drugs bust

pharmafile | March 19, 2018 | News story | Manufacturing and Production, Sales and Marketing India, Narcotics Control Bureau, pharma 

India’s drug agency, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), has shut down an illegal trafficking racket in the country in a bust that resulted in four arrests and the seizure of more than 55,000 tablets, it has emerged.

The drugs in question were all of the same type: zolpidem, a sleep disorder treatment that is branded as Ambien in the US and, when abused, can lead to hallucinations and other side-effects. The four offenders, Praveen Rana, Parman Bisht, Ram Chandra Singh and Krishan Kant Tiwary, were all arrested under provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

The operation, which was run using courier services, was called “a new modus operandi for trafficking of pharmaceutical drugs through call centres” in a report by the NCB. According to the report, the four accused allegedly “acted as drug traffickers and obtained contact numbers of illegal buyers/sellers of pharma drugs from a legal platform available on the internet”, doing the actual dealings via Skype or other voice over internet protocol (VoIP) calling applications.

The report detailed that the operation stretched across the Indian cities of Ghaziabad, Lucknow and Roorkee, while also extending to US shores. Interrogation of the four suspects revealed that the drug shipment was due to be sent to Varanasi where it would then be dispatched to foreign destinations where demand is high.

Matt Fellows

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