VIJAYAWADA: The city police busted a seven-member gang indulged in black marketing Remdesivir and recovered Rs 2.32 lakh cash and four vials, including two expired, from it on Tuesday. Mandepudi Mohan Krishna of Penamaluru, Maturi Srinivas Kumar of Kothapet, Yeruva Anantha Reddy of Bhavanipuram, Arigela Raja of Ramavarappadu, Gummadi Suresh, Gollapudi Tarun Kumar and Mineni Veerandra Sivanath of Kanuru were taken into custody. The accused are medical distributors representatives.
City Police Commissioner Bathini Sreenivasulu said Patamata police received a complaint from G Hitesh Kumar that his friend Sai Phani was cheated by the gang. Sai approached the prime accused Mohan Krishna, who works in a pharmacy, on April 25 for Remdesivir as his father was admitted to a private hospital in Guntur after testing positive. Mohan Krishna and his friend Srinivas Kumar demanded Rs 28,000 per vial of Remdesivir against its original price of Rs 4,800. Sai paid the sum to the duo and took Remdesivir injections, which were later found to be expired. He returned the expired vials to the duo and asked them to return his money.
But the duo refused to return his money. Later, Sai came to know about Anantha Reddy and other accused and paid Rs 1.4 lakh for four vials of Remdesivir (Rs 35,000 per vial against the original price of Rs 2,450). “Some pharmacists and medical representatives are found selling the drugs used for Covid treatment by creating artificial scarcity in the market. This is one such case where the complainant ran from pillar to post to buy the drug to save his father’s life,” said Sreenivasulu. Patamata police are trying to trace a few others involved in similar racket based on the information provided by the gang.
“We are also investigating whether the seven-member gang has links with any private hospitals or pharmacies and if any other gangs are involved in the racket. Black marketing of drugs will be dealt with seriously,” the CP warned. A case was registered against the gang under Section 420 of IPC (Cheating) and Section 3 of Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.