Pharmaceutical companies under scanner

  • firms aiding drug traffickers
- Post Report, Kathmandu
Given a dramatic surge in import of chemicals used to produce Amphetamine, a contraband, many firms thought to be misusing it

Aug 2, 2016-With the arrest of an operator and officials of the Arya Pharmalab run by Sanghai Group, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of Nepal Police has started looking into possible misuse of the drugs by more pharmaceutical companies.

Since there has been a dramatic surge in the import of chemicals that are used to produce Amphetamine, a contraband drug, many other pharmaceutical firms might also be misusing it, officials involved in the investigation said.

“There has been a huge misuse of raw materials and chemicals used for producing drugs,” Senior Superintendent of Police Ganesh KC of the NCB said. “Often times, we have found that these chemicals are sold to smugglers. We will soon probe other pharmaceuticals too.”

SSP KC said they are looking for Pawan Sanghai and Shanker Ghalan, the operators of Arya Pharmalab, for abetting the smugglers through their company.

Pawan is the younger brother of Ratan Lal Sanghai, who has been arrested by the police. Ratan, however, fell sick and has been admitted to a hospital in Kathmandu.

Police said there has been a huge surge in the import of pseudoephedrine, which is used to treat nasal and sinus congestion. 

In 2010, companies had imported 1,725 kgs of the drug while in 2016 already 3,151 kgs have been brought in as of June. The chemical is imported from Switzerland with permission from the Home Ministry.

Ten of the 50 pharmaceutical companies produce drugs using pseudoephedrine, according to Bal Krishna Khakurel, director general of the Department of Drugs Administration.

According to police, racketeers have been using various routes including Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia and Australia.

Police on Sunday arrested five persons, including Sanghai, with contraband drugs worth over Rs1.32 billion. A police team from the NCB recently raided the Bara-based Arya Pharmalab and confiscated around 500 kg of drugs, including ephedrine/pseudoephedrine, which is used to produce Amphetamine, a controlled prescription drug that has been heavily abused for recreational use in different parts of the world.

Published: 02-08-2016 11:21

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