HYDERABAD: In a first-ever synthetic opioid bust in the city, the Telangana State Anti-Narcotics Bureau (TS NAB) along with Rajendranagar Special Operations Team (SOT) sleuths) and the local police raided a doctor’s residence and seized 53 vials of Fentanyl injections, estimated to be worth Rs 6.08 lakh, on Thursday.
While the accused, Ashnan Mustafa Khan, who works as an anaesthetist at Sameer Hospital in Mehdipatnam, is in Kuwait, his wife Lubna Nazeeb Khan, who allegedly was aware of his illegal dealings, has been taken into custody.
Speaking to TNIE, TS NAB director Sandeep Shandiliya said, “Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Typically prescribed in limited doses for acute pain during and after surgeries, this drug has strict prescription guidelines. However, Dr Khan has been illicitly acquiring fentanyl from the hospital pharmacy. Ironically, the recipient of the smuggled drug is also a doctor, initially taking one dose but now escalated to four doses, rendering him in an abnormal state.”
Based on an anonymous tip-off on the toll-free number, the police launched a probe and placed the doctor’s residence under constant surveillance. Special police teams observed that a Porter delivery agent would pick up a parcel from the accused’s house and deliver it to another location in Cyberabad police station limits.
While the cops assimilated evidence, the doctor’s condition worsened, prompting Dr Khan to flee to Kuwait. In his absence, Lubna took up the responsibility of delivering the drug and engaging delivery agents through the Porter application, Sandeep said.
During the raid, Lubna tried to interfere and deny any illegal activities at first. The TS NAB director said the probe will focus on the potential involvement of the hospital management after Dr Khan’s return from Kuwait. Meanwhile, the doctor’s wife and the addicted victim, who is also a doctor, have been apprehended.
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