The Anti-Narcotics Force on Saturday submitted charge sheets against 10 persons accused in the ephedrine quota case to a Control of Narcotic Substances Court (CNSC).
CNSC Special Judge Arshad Mahmood Tabassum, after hearing the case, adjourned it till September 3.
During the hearing, copies of the charge sheets were handed out to the accused, who will be indicted in their next hearing.
Those accused in the case include Ali Musa Gilani, Shahabuddin and Khushnood Lashari and their families in addition to health department officials. Proceedings were initiated against the three and seven other accused, who were summoned by the court.
Warrants were repeatedly issued for the arrest of Lashari and alleged front men Tauqir Ali Khan and Anjum Shah, both of whom were charged with procuring ephedrine for pharmaceutical companies Berlex and Danas.
The prosecution maintained that Khan acted as a front man for Gilani, while Shah acted on behalf of Shahabuddin.
The counsel for Ali Musa Gilani and Faisal Chaudhry objected to the charge sheets submitted by ANF. A day earlier, the court submitted charge sheets for six others accused in the case including former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Muhammad Hanif Abbasi.
The scandal first surfaced last February after the Supreme Court pointed to the involvement of high-profile politicians in the illegal allocation of around 9,000kgs of ephedrine to two pharmaceutical companies and its conversion for sale in the local market.
According to the ANF, Danas and Berlex pharmaceuticals obtained 9,000kg of ephedrine from the health ministry for export to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010.
The two companies allegedly used the ephedrine meant for export for local consumption, and later smuggled the substance to Iran, via Quetta and Karachi, pocketing Rs7 billion in the process.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2013.