One person remains in custody after police on Wednesday apprehended a minibus with staffers of the Ministry of Public Health’s Bond at Diamond, East Bank Demerara. A quantity of pharmaceuticals was stashed in the bus.
According to Police information, six men and five women were on Wednesday evening taken into police custody after ranks were alerted to suspicious activities in the compound of the Bond.
This publication was informed that person or persons employed at the Bond were seen earlier in the day stashing a quantity of pharmaceuticals in a washroom in the compound. Police, acting on this information, reportedly started to stakeout the location and observed when a minibus in which the pharmaceuticals were eventually packed, left the compound of the Bond.
At the time the 11 individuals were aboard the minibus.
According to reports that had reached this newspaper, police ranks were able to intercept the minibus before it left the Diamond area and the quantity of pharmaceuticals, all property of the Public Health Ministry, were found.
All of the individuals in the minibus were taken into police custody. Initially none of them accepted culpability for the pharmaceuticals. Reports reaching this publication suggest that each of the detained individuals was subsequently fingerprinted and the pharmaceuticals were thoroughly examined.
By the end of a period of interrogation only one person remained in custody. The others were released on station bail. The person in custody is a male staffer who has reportedly admitted to concealing the pharmaceuticals in the minibus.
Based on reports that have reached this publication, police have been able to upset what is believed to be a pharmaceutical ‘pilfering ring’ at the Ministry’s Diamond Bond. Reports are that over time quantities of pharmaceuticals were found to be missing from the Bond thus raising suspicions at the level of the Ministry.
The Ministry has been taking seriously the pilfering of its pharmaceuticals, a state of affairs that has been lending to a constant unprecedented shortage of pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies at several health facilities across the country.
According to information released by the Public Health Ministry on the heels of the report of the incident which was first reported by this publication, a conservative value of the pharmaceuticals confiscated by police has amounted to some US$500 or G$100,000.
Among the stashed pharmaceuticals the Ministry has revealed were: Clozole [an anti-fungal cream used for yeast infection]; OnCall Plus [used mainly by diabetics to test blood sugar]; Chlorophane [a cough medicine] and Ferrovite [a multivitamin product used to treat or prevent low blood levels of iron and vitamin B12].
The Ministry has disclosed too that none of the employees who were initially taken into custody and later released reported for work yesterday. It is alleged that the workers might have engaged in strike action and one female is said to have tendered her resignation with immediate effect.
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