In a major swoop, the Mumbai Police Crime Branch has busted a racket involving sale of fake sutures of pharma giant Johnson & Johnson Co and arrested five persons, an official said here on Tuesday.
Following a complaint lodged by the Griffin Intellectual Property Rights Service Pvt Ltd on behalf of J&J Senior Manager (Global Brand Protection) Milind Palany with the Crime Branch, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) launched an investigation.
According to Investigation Officer, Inspector Nitin Patil, in the past couple of days, intelligence was collected about huge quantities of counterfeit J&J sutures allegedly being stocked and sold in several retail medical stores in the vicinity of the Sir J.J. Hospital in south Mumbai.
“We laid a trap on five medical stores, seized 765 fake sutures worth Rs 3.88 lakh. Early Tuesday, we have arrested five persons in connection with the fraud and booked them under Copyright Act’s Sections 51, 63 and Indian Penal Code’s Section 336, and further investigations are on,” Patil told IANS.
He added that the J&J officials were called to identify the materials seized, and after checking, confirmed that they were spurious and their brand name was being misused to fool the people.
As per the complaint on behalf of J&J, Pawar said that during a routine survey of chemist shops in the vicinity of the Sir J.J. Marg Police Station, he came across some of them selling spurious/counterfeit products of the pharma company.
This had resulted in hospital doctors and patients complaining of problems, side-effects and medical issues since quite sometime, creating suspicions about the sutures that were being used, Patil said.
After a thorough probe, the police along with the J&J representatives and sleuths, zeroed in on some of the medical stores and raided them on Monday.
The accused arrested on Tuesday are: Raj K. Gosar, 27 of Shree Paras Medical Stores, Mohammed J. Agha, 28, Metro Medical & General Store, Kiran S. Shelar, 25, Shah Medical & General Store, Vinit Valam, 26, Umaima Medical & General Store, and Nilesh C. Shah, 48, Monarch Enterprises Suppliers.
Now, the Mumbai Police will probe similar instances in other medical stores in the city, running into several thousands to detect fake medical supplies of reputed Indian and foreign companies being stocked/sold by them to gullible hospitals or patients.