Ex-chemist held with banned cough syrup bottles worth Rs 1 cr


New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Delhi Police’s Special Cell has arrested a chemist-turned-drug-trafficker and recovered 36,238 bottles of Byerex, a banned codeine-based cough syrup, worth Rs 1 crore in ‘grey market’.

The accused was identified as Vipin Chhawla.

Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) HGS Dhaliwal said that specific input was received on June 16 that a big consignment of psychotropic substance prohibited under NDPS Act, is lying in a godown situated inside Aradhana Bhawan, Azadpur, Delhi.

“Accordingly, the officials of the Drugs Control Department were also called to join the raiding police team. Thereafter, a raid was conducted at shop No. 15, Ground Floor, Aradhana Bhawan, Azadpur and a big consignment of Byerex syrup (illegally procured and stored in the above godown) was recovered at the instance of godown occupant Vipin Chawla,” said Dhaliwal.

The bottles of the syrup were kept in 302 cardboard boxes and on counting, 36,238 bottles of Byerex syrup were recovered from the spot.

“Durung questioning, Chawla could not produce any document for valid possession of the drug and it came out that the codeine syrup bottles were procured and stored for illegal sale and drug abuse,” said the official.

The interrogation of the accused revealed that he has been involved in the wholesale business of medicines for the last 12 years.

“Initially, he used to purchase medicines from authorized/legal distributors and would supply the same to local pharmacies through proper billing. However, while working in the sector, he realised that there was huge demand for prohibited medicines. Hence, he started purchasing banned medicines from his sources without legitimate bills. He would supply these medicines to his contacts in Delhi-NCR,” said the official.

“It has been also revealed that previously he had got issued a drug licence in the name of his wife Neha in May 2020 and he would run his shop in the name and style of Neha pharmacy at Aggarwal Plaza, Mukherjee Nagar,” said the official.

“In October 2021, 15 cartons containing 1800 bottles of codeine syrup were seized from his shop by the Drugs Control Department and hence this licence was cancelled in October 2021 itself. Thereafter, he got issued another drug licence in his own name in March 2022 and opened a store in the name and style of Sheetla Pharmacy at Derawal Nagar, Delhi. However, in August 2022, his licence was cancelled as 3,000 tablets of Alprax 0.5mg were found illegally stored in his shop for sale,” the official added.


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