Published On : Sat, Apr 17th, 2021

Remdesivir blackmarketing racket: Wardboys stole unused injections of dead patients

Nagpur: A macabre development has come to the fore in connection with the arrest and blackmarketing of Remdesivir injections on Thursday night. Following the arrest of a doctor and three wardboys in the blackmarketing racket, police have learnt that the wardboys were stealing unused Remdesivir vials of dead patients to sell those to needy patients at hefty prices.

A doctor and three wardboys working with different hospitals in Kamptee and Nagpur were arrested by the police and 15 vials of the injections were seized. The mastermind of the Remdesivir black-marketing racket, Kunal Kohale, is learnt to have stolen several vials of the anti-viral injections from the bedside of dead patients at his hospital situated at Deo Nagar Square.

Kohale was arrested along with Dr Lokesh Shahu of a Kamptee-based hospital, Shubham Mohudure and Sumeet Bangde on Thursday. The four were arrested by the special squad of DCP Neelotpal from different places following a tip-off received by Commissioner of Police Amitesh Kumar. Subsequently, searches and questioning had taken place at three different hospitals. Two more doctors are learnt to be under scanner. On death of a patient at the hospital due to Covid-19, the wardboys used to enter in the ward wearing PPE kit and steal the unused vials of Remdesivir injection kept near the bed of the patients. They were selling a vial at Rs 5,000. Similarly, a wardboy from nearby district was supplying the Remdesivir injection for Rs 3,500 which was then sold by the accused for Rs 16,000 per vial, the DCP said and added that the accused indulged in the black-marketing for the last 10 days. The four arrested, who have been remanded till April 20 by the court, had stolen 35 Remdesivir vials and sold them to different persons in the last fortnight.

It is pertinent to recall that the Commissioner of Police Kumar had received secret information that a doctor at Kamptee was selling Remdesivir injection at exorbitant price. He asked the DCP Zone 5 Neelotpal to verify the information. Accordingly, the cops laid a trap. One of the members of the police squad posed as a needy person. Dr Lokesh Shahu, a BHMS doctor on call at Asha Hospital, Kamptee, asked for Rs 16,000 per vial of Remdesivir. He asked the needy person to come to Kamptee. The police laid a trap and at the specified place near Dragon Palace Temple, apprehended Dr Shahu and Shubham Mohdure, a wardboy working at Swasthyam Hospital, Wardha Road, Nagpur.

On quizzing, Dr Shahu and Mohdure told the cops that they had got the vials from Kunal Kohale, also a wardboy with Swasthyam Hospital, Wardha Road, Nagpur. The police team went to Nagpur and apprehended Kohale too. From Kohale, the cops seized seven vials of Remdesivir. When questioned, Kohale told cops that he had taken the vials from Sumit Bangde, a wardboy at Shalinitai Meghe Hospital. The cops apprehended Bangde too and seized six vials from his possession, the DCP said.