ISLAMABAD: The police’s Special Branch was asked on Monday to assist Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap), customs and food departments in their ongoing campaign against spurious medicines and food supplements and non-customs paid items, sources told Dawn.

On Saturday, Islamabad Customs raided a godown of a medical store and recovered a huge quantity of spurious food supplements.

Later, on the request of the customs department the capital administration visited all medical stores to check spurious medicines and food supplements.

Senior officers of the capital administration said the assistance of Special Branch was sought after all Pakistan Chemist Association termed the raids unjustified.

The association approached the capital administration after the customs department sealed four outlets in the capital, they added.

These outlets were sealed after their owner failed to produce sales invoice and import documents regarding the imported items, they said, adding spurious medicines or food supplements were not found at any outlet raided by the customs department or inspected by the capital administration.

However, the capital administration asked Drap to check the stock available in the medical stores to ensure that no spurious medicines were sold.

The capital administration assured the association that the outlets would be unsealed whenever their owner produced import documents and sale invoices.

But the association was of the view that the outlets were retailers and had bought the imported items from importers or distributors.

The association informed the capital administration that under such a purchase chain, it was not possible for the retailers to produce the documents, the officers stated.

Keeping in view the chemists association’s concerns, the capital administration held a meeting with representatives of Deap, customs and food departments, which was also attended by officers of the Special Branch.

During the meeting, the Special Branch was asked to collect intelligence about sale of non-custom paid imported items and spurious medicines and food supplements in the medical stores.

Besides, the police intelligence wing was also directed to collect details about the purchase chain of these items, the officers said.

In the light of the Special Branch report, outlets having non-custom paid items, spurious medicines and food supplements will be raided.

Customs, Drap and the food department were assured that the capital administration and police would assist and cooperate with them in their campaign.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2019