Rawalpindi: ANF arrests CEOs of 2 companies for misusing ephedrine
RAWALPINDI: Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) here on Tuesday arrested chief executive officers (CEOs) of the two pharmaceutical companies allegedly involved in the abuse of controlled chemical ephedrine after the Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) denied them pre–arrest bail. Ansar Farooq Chaudhry, CEO of Danas Pharmaceutical Islamabad and Iftikhar Khan Babar, chief executive Berlex Lab International Multan were arrested outside the courtroom. The division bench comprising Justice Saghir Ahmed Qadri and Justice Rauf Ahmed Sheikh also dismissed their petitions challenging the jurisdiction of ANF to investigate the matter. The petitioners had adopted before the court that the ANF could not investigate the case and only health ministry under the drugs act could initiate action if any illegality has been found.
The two CEOs got 9000kg of ephedrine quota from the health ministry for the purpose of exporting the chemical to Iraq and Afghanistan. Legal counsel for the two CEOs argued before the court that ephedrine was not a controlled substance but a controlled chemical. It is not the case of narcotics but of drugs, the counsel further argued. Abdur Rasheed Sheikh, legal counsel for Ansar Farooq Chaudhry argued that since the name of Ali Musa Gilani has been cited in the case as co–accused that is why both these companies were maligned. Waseem Ahmed Qureshi, special public prosecutor for ANF, argued that the health ministry violated rules for granting quota for the said chemical enlisted as controlled substance.
The prosecutor told the court that a criminal case was registered with the ANF on October 10 last year after the national assembly took up the matter. In the investigation so far, gross irregularities have been found in allocation of the quota involving officials of the ministry, the prosecutor further told the court. The two companies were just unable to satisfy the ANF on where the substance was used. The ANF prosecutor told the court that the details provided by the two companies about tablets made from the chemical had been proved fake and forged. The ANF investigation has checked the distributors, retailers, carriers and end users but tablets ‘metones’ and ‘btones’ were not found anywhere.
The ANF has not mentioned Ali Musa Gilani in the comments submitted before the LHC in this particular case. They however have told the Supreme Court that Musa Gilani has been asked to appear for preliminary investigation.