Customs officials at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport have detained a doctor who was allegedly carrying sex enhancing medicines worth Rs5 lakh. The doctor, who is apparently a medical practitioner in the US, originally hails from Piplav village near Anand.
The doctor landed in the city at around 3 am on Saturday on an Emirates flight. When customs officials checked his baggage, they found sex enhancing medicines in his possession.
An official at the airport said that the doctor, who was coming from San Francisco, initially claimed that the medicines were for diabetics. “We sought help from doctors here and it was found that the medicines were for sexual enhancement,” said the official.
It should be noted that passengers cannot carry such medicines and those who import them, need special licenses and permission which the doctor did not have.
However, sources close to the development revealed that the doctor had got the medicines as free samples in the US and wanted to make some money by selling them in this country at Indian prices.
Customs officials are also trying to figure out if he had brought such medicines earlier. “We have found that he had travelled to India thrice in the last one year. We suspect that he must have brought such medicines before too,” said an official.
The customs officials have not ruled out the possibility of large-scale smuggling of the tablets into India.
Talking to DNA, a city-based sexologist, Paras Shah, expressed surprise that that someone had taken the trouble of bringing the medicines from abroad so that he could sell them in India for a profit.
“These medicines are very cheap in India. For instance, Viagra costs Rs18 per tablet in India whereas it is sold at around $11 (around Rs550) per tablet in the US,” Shah said.
The customs officials at the airport said that the medicines the detained doctor was carrying had an expiry date of up to 2014 and that such medicines cannot be sold without the prescription of a medical practitioners. The medicines attract Rs2 lakh in duty and 100% penalty.
It should be noted that last week another passenger was held with Rs1.5 lakh worth of medicines. That passenger was coming from Singapore.
When asked about the possibility of large-scale smuggling of medicines from abroad, Gujarat DGP Chitranjan Singh said that, normally, smuggling of medicines into Gujarat had not been noticed by the police. “However, the police will look into any such matter if it is brought to their notice,” Singh said.
Jaswant Patel, president, Ahmedabad Chemists Association, said that many medicines are banned and cannot be brought to India. “Yet such medicines have been able to enter the Indian market through various routes,” he said.