Fake Medicine: Four more people arrested

Fake Medicine: Medical Supplies Division workers arrested

by Zulfick Farzan 20-11-2023 | 2:50 PM

COLOMBO (News 1st); Four employees at the Medical Supplies Division of the Ministry of Health were arrested as part of the ongoing investigation in the supply of substandard human immunoglobulin.

Police Spokesperson SSP Nihal Thalduwa speaking to News 1st said that four employees at the Medical Supplies Division of the Ministry of Health were arrested by the CID.

Two Assistant Directors, an Accountant and Storekeeper attached to the Medical Supplies Division were thus arrested.

The CID in continuing its investigations.

In early November 2023, President's Counsel Kalinga Indatissa had challenged the Criminal Investigation Department to arrest the mastermind of the substandard human immunoglobulin deal, claiming that mastermind of this racket is in the Cabinet.

Newspaper reports said the President's Counsel who represented the suspect in the case related to this matter, revealed these facts at the Maligakanda Magistrate's Court.

The defense counsel indicated that the suspect is more concerned about the people of Sri Lanka than the Ministry of Health.

He added that the Police have not arrested the two people involved in the crime.

It was revealed in Court that the suspect provided 3,985 vials of Human Immunoglobulin and 2,985 of them have been used.

According to media reports the government has paid the suspect over Rs.44 million.

Deputy Solicitor General Lakmini Girihagama informed court that the Secretary to the Ministry of Health purchased the drug according to an agreement reached with the owner of Isolez Biotech Pharma on the 4th of January.

Magistrate Lochani Abeywickrama questioned why the public was used to test the quality of the medicine.

President's Counsel Kalinga Indatissa, who appeared for the defense, stressed that the responsibility lies with the Ministry of Health.

The Magistrate said this is not something that an ordinary person can do, adding that it can be observed that it is a joint effort by many and part of a conspiracy.

The defense lawyers informed court that the CID had told the suspect that there would be an advantage if he pleaded guilty.

The Magistrate ordered the owner of Isolez Biotech Pharma, who was arrested, be remanded until the 29th of November.

Maligakanda Magistrate Lochani Abeywickrama has directed the CID to immediately investigate, arrest and present any person of any status related to this incident to court.

Recently it was revealed that 22,500 vials of substandard Human immunoglobulin, produced using human blood, was ordered by placing forged documentation.

Initially, it was mentioned that the vials were imported to the country, however, later it was revealed that the vials were in fact produced in Sri Lanka.

Former Health Minister of Sri Lanka, Keheliya Rambukwella said that saline or a similar product was sold to the Health Minister, as Human immunoglobulin.

The value of the consigned of Human immunoglobulin is estimated at almost Rs. 1 Billion.