Three lands in custody for attempting to smuggle COVID-19 vaccine into Myanmar

Two boxes with COVID-19 medicines to be transported to Myanmar through Moreh were seized by a team of NAB-Police Station and Singjamei Police Station at Canchipur area near Heijingang Super Market along NH-2.

(Representational Image: Unsplash)

The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West on Monday remanded three persons in five-day police custody till August 27 for attempting to smuggle medicines, including COVID-19 vaccine, for black marketing in Myanmar.

The three have been identified as Mohammad Feroz Khan, 30, son of Md Heffajuddin of Moreh, Chandel district, Manipur; Imran Khan ,22, son of (L) Abdullah of Moreh, Chandel district; Shubham Kumar Anand ,23, son of Rabindra Prasad Gupta of Katihar Pratap Ganj, Bihar presently staying at BT Road Roopmahal Tank, Imphal.

On Sunday, a combined team of NAB-Police Station and Singjamei Police Station along with SI K Prasun Singh, SI S Roshan Singh and SI Ambedkar II under the supervision of OC Singjamei Police Station inspector N Jadumani Singh conducted frisking and checking on passersby at Canchipur area near Heijingang Super Market along NH-2.

While checking, one four wheeler (Maruti Van, Silver in colour) was coming from north to south direction in a highly suspicious manner and tried to evade the police. The van was stopped. Two persons, including the driver, were in the vehicle, the police said.

On finding two carton boxes inside the vehicle by the police team, occupants of the vehicle disclosed that the two boxes were COVID-19 medicines to be transported to Myanmar through Moreh.

When demanded, they could not produce any valid documents like dealership, sale permits and challans related with the medicines. Accordingly, 48 packets written as DESREM Rr Remdesivir for injection 100 mg/vial, Lyophilized powder for injection for IV Infusion Discard Unused Portion single dose vial Sterile, 100 bottles written as SII ChadOx7 nCOV-19 Coronavirus Vaccine (Recombinant) COVISHIELD Sml-10 doses were seized from their possession.

The investigating officer of the case prayed for remanding them into police custody, stating that they admitted the charges levelled against them. They also stated that the seized medicines and vaccines were owned by one Guddu of Moreh and will be transported to Myanmar through Moreh for selling them in black market. It was submitted that such activities will result in shortages of Covid vaccines and medicines to the designated Covid Vaccination centres as well as to the needy public which is a serious offence against humanity during these critical times of COVID-19 pandemic.

It was submitted that for thorough interrogation and to find out the source of the seized medicines and the vaccines and to arrest the other accused persons namely Guddu of Moreh, they were required to be remanded into police custody for some days. After hearing the submission, the court allowed them to be remanded in police custody.

First Published:Aug. 23, 2021, 11:05 p.m.

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