Doctor among 5 held for drug theft in ESIC dispensaries in Delhi

Doctor among 5 held for drug theft in ESIC dispensaries in Delhi
Source: IANS

New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) Five persons, including Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) officials and a doctor, were arrested on Saturday by the Crime Branch for allegedly pilfering medicines meant for public health facilities in the national capital, police said.

The accused have been identified as Chandra Prakash, (33), Ankit Mishra, (23), Praveen Mangla,(40), Sumesh Rathi, (52) and Dr Avinash Saini.

While Chandra Prakash and Mishra hail from Haryana's Faridabad, Mangla is from Badarpur, Sumesh from Kalkaji Extension (both Delhi) and Saini from Greater Noida in UP.

According to police, two persons were caught red-handed with a large amount of medicines bearing ESIC stamps. One of them was identified as Chandra Prakash, a pharmacist in ESIC in Okhla.

The recovered medicines were issued for ESIC card holders. However, during a probe, it was found that while most of the card holders had never visited the said dispensaries, some of them who did, had purchased medicines different from the cache recovered from the accused.

During the initial investigation, it was also revealed that Chandra Prakash was in touch with Saini on WhatsApp, and suggested rare and expensive drugs to prescribe on patient cards.

A Medicine Stock Report was obtained from ESI dispensaries in Okhla and Tigri, and the batch numbers of the seized medicines were matched with it.

The same medicines were also prescribed by Saini on the ESIC beneficiary cards, thus establishing the duo conspired and sold life-saving drugs in the market for monetary gain.

Saini was subsequently arrested from ESIC in Kalkaji.

He had got a job at ESIC Hospital after completing MBBS from Karnataka. When he came in contact with co-accused Chandra Prakash, he started prescribing life-saving drugs for financial gains.

Further investigation is underway.