NCB arrests CEO of pharmaceutical company for re-exporting Tradamol to Pakistan

On Friday, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officials said they uncovered a drug scam involving the export of 25,000 kg of the psychotropic drug Tradamol which was to be exported to other countries and then re-routed to Pakistan without authorisation. The chief executive of a Telangana-based pharmaceutical company that made the drug and four senior executives were arrested.

Acting on a tip off, an NCB team from the Bengaluru Zonal Unit led by Zonal Director Amith Ghawate searched the premises of Lucent Drugs Pvt. ltd. in Sangareddy district in Telangana which manufactures integrated Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and is one of the major exporters of Tramadol.

“NCB Bengaluru detected unauthorized re-export of Tramadol to Pakistan by this Pharmaceutical Company amounting to 25,000 kg in one year and discrepancy regarding declared stock of acetic anhydride [a corrosive chemical compound] to the extent of approximately 3.85 kg,” the bureau said in a press release.

The chemical compound acetic anhydride is an important reaction agent for the illicit production of heroin.

The BCN added that documentary and digital evidence revealed that the company re-exported tramadol to Pakistan via Denmark, Germany and Malaysia. “The company had removed the final destination in Pakistan. The defendants obtained a NOC for the export of Tramadol to Denmark, Germany and Malaysia only and not to Pakistan. They re-exported 25,000 kg of tramadol to Pakistan without any valid authorization in 2021,” the investigation revealed.

The pharmaceutical company’s chief executive, associate vice-president and three other employees were arrested on Friday and taken into custody for breaching RCS Order 2013 and the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985.

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