The Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA) in Gujarat has seized 24,363 pregnancy termination kits worth over Rs 1.5 crore along with narcotic and psychotropic drugs that were being sold illegally, and eight persons have been arrested in this connection, officials said on Sunday.
The accused were apprehended by the FDCA from multiple locations in the state, including Ahmedabad and Surat, as part of an operation carried out on Friday and Saturday, they said.
While seven accused have been charged under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, another one has been arrested by the Gujarat police under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act after drugs, including three lakh vials of oxytocin, were found in his possession, FDCA Commissioner Hemant Koshia said.
He said that such abortion kits could be sold only on the prescription of gynaecologists as per the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act.
Ahmedabad-based Pintu Shah, one of the accused, was procuring pregnancy termination kits illegally from accused Vinod Maheshwari and Lokesh Maheshwari, owners of a distributing unit in Banaskantha''s Deesa, and selling them online without prescription. Shah had sold around 800 such kits through an online platform in the last one-and-half years, the FDCA said in a release.
Deesa-based Maheshwaris had got the kits on the basis of forged medical prescriptions from Javeri Sangala of Surat, who had procured them from accused Rajesh Yadav, a Gujarat region sales manager of a Mumbai-based marketing company.
Among the other accused are Nilay Vora, a marketing representative of Mumbai-based firm, Vipul Patel and Monish Panchal, with whom 700 kits were found, the release said.
One of the accused, Tushar Thakkar, was found with narcotic and psychotropic drugs and has been handed over to the police.
An official said that three lakh vials of oxytocin injections, several other injections without labels, as well as other drugs and narcotics were seized from Thakkar, an official said.
"The oxytocin injections have been sent to the FDCA laboratory in Vadodara for exmaination. Other items seized from Thakkar include Alpracan 0.5 tablets, (containing Alprazolam), Editax N-2 tablets (containing Buprenorphine and Naloxone) and SPAS-Trancan Tablets (containing Tramadol), all of which he was selling without licence," the release said.
The drugs seized from Thakkar were being brought from neighbouring Rajasthan, and this angle is being probed, the FDCA said, adding that he had been handed over to the narcotics cell of the police which had taken him into custody.
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