Telangana State Anti-Narcotics Bureau investigators arrested a doctor's wife in Rajendranagar, Hyderabad, for her involvement in the illegal supply of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid.
According to Telangana State Anti-Narcotic Bureau director Sandeep Shandilya, 57 units of fentanyl injection ampoules, each containing 2 ml, have been recovered from the spot.
The supply chain is run by Dr. Hasan Mustafa Khan, who is working as an anesthetist at the Sameer Hospital in Hyderabad.
The investigation was started by the Telangana State Anti-Narcotic Bureau (TSNAB). They received information about an unusual procurement of fentanyl injections from the pharmacy, which is attached to the hospital where the doctor works. After a few days of surveillance, the investigators found that the doctor was regularly getting fentanyl injections from the pharmacy without any permission.
Fentanyl injections are made from poppy seeds, and it is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. To sell these injections, there is a requirement for a license under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
Upon receiving the information, TSNAB director Sandeep Shandilya orders a special team to keep vigilance at the doctor's house. The observation continued for almost a month; during that time, the investigators identified that every evening, a delivery executive, through an app called Porter, reached the doctor’s residence in Asifnagar, received a parcel, and delivered it to another address in Cyberabad.
TSNAB, along with the cooperation of the Cyberabad police and Rajendranagar police, executed a plan. In the meantime, Dr. Hasan had left for Kuwait. They said that they were waiting for the doctor's return, but the condition of the addict deteriorated, so they decided to execute the plan. As the doctor was not present, his wife, Lubna Najeeb Khan, delivered the fentanyl injections to Rajendranagar through the porter. The Porter executive delivered four vials of fentanyl, and the addict paid Rs. 17,500 through Google Pay. The police team caught the Porter executive and drug abuser. They searched the drug abuser's premises, asked the Porter executive where he received the drugs, and took them to the place.
According to TSNAB, the executive took them to the house where he took the drugs and told them that sometimes a watchman and occasionally women would hand over the parcel to him.
The police arrested the doctor's wife, Lubna Najeeb Khan, and searched the house. Cash worth Rs. 6.08 lakh was seized, and 57 units of fentanyl injection ampoules containing 2 ml were retrieved.
The police were also trying to give a lookout notice to the doctor, who was in Kuwait. The TSNAB authorities said that they are waiting for the doctor's return to know how many people he supplied the drugs to. They also said they would check the inventory of Sameer Hospital along with the officers of the Drug Control Department.
Fentanyl is a main contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S. It is of two types: pharmaceutical fentanyl and illegally made fentanyl. Both are considered synthetic opioids. The pharmaceutical Fentanyl is prescribed by doctors to treat severe pain, especially after surgery, and for advanced-stage cancer.
(Input from various sources)