NCB arrests pharma firm MD, four others for ‘exporting’ Tramadol to Pakistan

Pramesh S Jain & Yogesh K Porwar

NCB officials on Friday busted an inter-state drug racket and seized unauthorised re-export of 25,000 kg of Tramadol (Psychotropic Substance) to Pakistan.

The officials also arrested a Managing Director and four senior executives of the company for further investigations.

Based on a tip off,a team of NCB,Bengaluru Zonal Unit headed by zonal director,Amith Ghawate ,searched the premises of Lucent Drugs Pvt Ltd, a pharma company in Sanga Reddy District, Hyderabad which was into manufacturing of Integrated API and Intermediates and one of the key exporters of Tramadol.

This pharma company was allotted with URN (Unique registration Number) for consumption of Acetic Anhydride.

During raid the team detected unauthorised re-export of Tramadol to Pakistan by this pharma company to the tune of 25000 kg in a year and discrepancy pertaining to the declared stock of Acetic Anhydride to the extent of around 3.85 kg.

During the course of investigation, documentary and digital evidence revealed that, the company re-exported Tramadol to Pakistan and innovated the channel of exporting Tramadol to Denmark, Germany and Malaysia and re-exporting the same to Pakistan without any valid permission for it.

The company had suppressed the ultimate destination to Pakistan .

The accused have obtained NOC for export of Tramadol to Denmark,Germany and Malaysia only and not to Pakistan.

They have re-exported 25000 kg Tramadol to Pakistan without any valid permission during the year 2021,the probe revealed .

During physical verification of declared stock of Acetic Anhydride in the factory
premises, it was found that there is a shortage of 3.85 kg of Acetic Anhydride as compared to the declared stock.

There was discrepancy in the declared stock in the legally mandatory returns to NCB and actual stock of Acetic Anhydride.

In this connection Managing Director,Associate Vice President,and 3 more concerned employees of the said company were arrested on Friday and remanded to Judicial Custody for violation of RCS order 2013 and NDPS Act . Further investigation is in progress .

Tramadol opioid medication has long been reported to be diverted from its intended usage as a prescription medication and there is an increase in diversion for illicit use.

Recreational use of high doses of Tramadol is associated with an increased risk of seizures or convulsion.

Acetic Anhydride a precursor/controlled substance, is an important reaction agent for the illicit production of heroin