Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) on Wednesday arrested former federal drug controller Sheikh Ansar Ahmed in the case of alleged misuse of ephedrine by two pharmaceutical companies.
The arrested official of the federal health ministry is accused of playing a vital role as drug controller in converting the huge quota of the chemical for domestic consumption as initially the quota was issued for export to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Investigation team member Col Tauqeer Ahmed confirmed to The Express Tribune that the force had arrested the drug controller. He said Ahmed was to be interrogated about how and under what law he and other health ministry officials converted the export quota for domestic consumption.
The ANF has already arrested three persons – former deputy drug controller Abdul Sattar Sehwani, Chief Executive Danas Pharmaceutical Islamabad, Ansar Farooq Chaudhry, and Chief Executive Berlex Lab International Multan, Iftikhar Khan Babar.
Former director general health Dr Rasheed Jumma, director Berlex Rizwan Khan and director Danas Col (retd) Tahirul Wadood Lahoti are yet to be arrested after a trial court rejected their pre-arrest bail.
In their interim investigation report submitted to the trial court in Rawalpindi, the investigators had cited chief executive CAN pharmaceutical company Muhammad Hashim Khan Tareen, Tanveer Hussain Sherazi, Chaudhry Abdul Waheed and Ahsanur Rehman, all residents of Multan, as absconders.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s son Ali Musa Gilani, who was also quizzed by the investigators April 26, denied all charges against him. He denied that he had influenced health officials to convert the ephedrine quota for domestic consumption.
According to the charges, the two companies first obtained quota to export the chemical to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010 but later consumed it in local market in violation of rules and regulations.
ANF has maintained that the companies had submitted details and record of ephedrine consumption but investigations had revealed that all the record was fake and could not be verified.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 11th, 2012.
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