KARACHI: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested five men for their alleged involvement in manufacturing fake medicines in the names of multinational pharmaceutical companies and selling them in different parts of the metropolis.

An FIA spokesperson said that Mohammed Zeeshan, Mohammed Adnan, Sikander Aziz, Moiz Ahmed and Mirza Nadeem Baig were arrested and a huge quantity of ‘fake and spurious drugs’ was recovered from them.

Tests conducted by the Central Drugs Lab confirmed that the medicines — CEFIM, CEFIM Ds suspension, Cefixime base salt and Dispirin — were ‘fake and spurious’.

The FIA along with officials of the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (DRAP) conducted raids, seized the drugs and arrested the suspects.

FIA-Karachi director Amir Farooqi told Dawn that they received ‘credible information from reliable sources’ that held suspect Mohammed Zeeshan, who is the owner of Hoorain Impex in Ramswami, was involved in preparing and selling fake medicines in the names of different companies.

He said an inquiry was initiated by the FIA’s Corporate Crime Circle and a joint team of DRAP and FIA raided the said store and recovered huge quantity of medicines “suspected to be spurious, counterfeit and altered”.

Suspect Zeeshan told investigators that he was engaged in the business of supplying medicines ‘Cefim suspension and Cefim DS suspension’, which he “locally purchased in the form of powder from market and repack the same into the packing of Hilton Pharma.’

“The repackaging of the same into the branded bottled product was carried out done at the house of suspect Moiz Ahmed in Liaquatabad. Empty and filled bottles of Cefixime without any label were found in bulk quantity from his home during the FIA raid,” he said.

On a lead provided by suspect Zeeshan, the FIA team raided the house of suspect Nadeem in Asif Colony, Manghopir Road, and arrested him.

The samples of the seized spurious and substandard materials were taken by Federal Inspector of Drugs Hira Bhutto and sent to the Central Drug Lab, Karachi.

The lab had “clearly declared the recovered drugs namely Dispirin tablets, Cefim suspension, Cefim Ds suspension spurious/substandard”.

The FIA said the five suspects were “involved in illegal manufacturing, alteration, sale and purchase of spurious, substandard drugs/medicines”.

A case was registered against them under relevant sections of the Drugs Act, 1976 and the Pakistan Penal Code on behalf of the state through Ms Bhutto.

Published in Dawn, February 7th, 2022

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