ISLAMABAD: Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) court of Rawalpindi on Wednesday indicted the Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) leader, Hanif Abbasi, and eight others in ephedrine case.

Abbasi, who is currently supervising the metro bus project, is accused of misusing 500kg controlled chemical ephedrine which he obtained for his pharmaceutical company, Gray Pharmaceutical, in 2010. But instead of using it in medicine he allegedly sold it to narcotics smugglers.

The CNS court also indicted Basit Abbasi, brother of Hanif Abbasi, distributor and employees of Grey pharma.

The Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) had registered a case against Abbasi and his accomplices in June 2012 under section 9-C, 14 and 15 of the CNS Act under which an accused may get the death sentence if convicted.

The accused in the ephedrine case has also been charged under section 14-15 of CNS Act for abetment in the said ‘crime’.

The challan includes the statements of two officials of Arafaat Traders, the Karachi-based medicine distribution company to whom Abbasi claimed to have supplied 11,000 ephedrine-containing tablets. The officials of the distribution company denied Abbasi’s claim, the challan revealed, though previously the same company had earlier confirmed before the ANF that Abbasi had provided them ephedrine-containing tablets.

Challan also incorporated statement of Razia Bakhtawari, the owner of D-Watson Chemist. She contradicted the statement of Abbasi of supplying the ephedrine contained medicine to her outlets.

During the hearing, ANF prosecutor general Shahid Abbasi, the accused and their counsels were present in the court.

CNS Judge Mohammad Akhtar Bahadur read out the charges against the accused. However, the accused pleaded not guilty.

Subsequently, the judge directed the prosecution to produce evidence against the accused and adjourned the proceedings till September 4.

On the next date the prosecution would produce 10 witnesses out of total 40 witnesses.

Published in Dawn, October 30th , 2014

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