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Times of India
30 March 2010
Chennai, India

70-Yr-Old Arrested Spills the Beans
Based on the information police received from 70–year–old Mani Chettiyar, who was arrested on Saturday in connection with the spurious drugs case, officers claimed to have now mapped a nexus between government hospital staff, touts and Sanjay Kumar, from whose house several cartons of drugs pilfered from government hospitals were seized.

Kumar, who had no drug licence, had allegedly been pasting fresh labels on expired drugs and pushing them back into the market. The drug inspectors on March 11 seized at least three boxes of expensive antibiotic vials with Tamil Nadu government seal. The police suspect that the Tiruvarur–based Chettiyar helped one of the key accused establish links with government hospitals, wholesale and retail medical shops in the city. Two key accused Sanjay Kumar and Baskar are still missing.

Chettiyar, who has no drug licence, was picked up by the police from Kancheepuram based on the information given by Pradeep Chowdia, owner of a medical store in Arumbakkam who is now in police custody. Cheittyar had told the police that he knew Kumar for the past five years. Kumar frequented the jewel shop where Chettiyar worked before retirement. “Chettiyar established contacts with nursing assistants and sanitary staff at the Government General Hospital. They would give him the drugs and he would take them to Kumar and share the commission with the government staff. Chettiyar would also take orders from medical shops, pick the stock from Kumar’s residence and make the delivery through Chowdia,” said a police official. “We are searching for the government staff involved in the case,” a senior police official said.

The police also said that Kumar was already arrested by the Elephant Gate police for buying tablets issued for government hospital and selling them in the market in 2005. Inspector M Rajendran, who had arrested Kumar then, said, “We cornered him on Wall Tax Road and seized nearly 3.5 kg of drugs and medicines. The free drugs were pilfered from GH in connivance with a hospital staff.”

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