Brij Bhushan Bansal earned $8 million from banned drugs in USA

Agra doctor’s global drug racket case hanging fire

16 Dec 2007, Brij Khandelwal

Agra, Dec 16 – Neighbours of Brij Bhushan Bansal here had no inkling of what was going on in the doctor’s clinic till his arrest in 2005 for running a global illegal Internet pharmacy network along with his Philadelphia-based son. A US court has now sentenced the son to 30 years in prison, while the case against the Agra doctor is still hanging fire.

Akhil Bansal, the son of Brij Bhushan Bansal, created and operated a network that smuggled 11 million prescription pills from India and distributed them to 60,000 Americans. ‘You distributed poison throughout the country,’ the US judge pronouncing the sentence said Friday.

All that Brij Bhushan’s neighbours in upscale Kamla Nagar locality remember is that till his sudden arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), post and telegraph and courier company vehicles would arrive every evening to pick up parcels from his palatial house.

Twenty arrests were made in countries as far as Costa Rica and Canada. Investigations revealed trading worth $20 million through Internet websites and other contacts.

An estimated 100,000 Americans were victims of the drug racket that Brij Bhushan ran with effective support of his son in the US and a dozen other relatives and friends.

Brij Bhushan, an ordinary MBBS doctor with his clinic on Moti Lal Nehru Road of Agra, became a multi-millionaire within two years with a huge mansion in Kamla Nagar. A source said within two years Brij Bhushan, the kingpin of the racket, earned close to $8 million through Internet sale of so-called sedatives and mild anti-depressants, a cover for banned drugs.

Akhil Bansal was studying for his MBA degree at Templeton University, US, while helping his father run the racket. He had purchased an expensive flat in Philadelphia, four cars and his offshore bank balance was around $6 million at the time of arrest. Others arrested were Akhil’s fiance, Brij Bhushan’s daughter, son-in-law and father-in-law in Jaipur, all of whom are in jail.

The Agra-centric drug racket couriered prescription drugs, like amphetamines, narcotics and steroids, to people just anywhere – age, nation no bar.

An Indo-US Operation Cyber Chase eventually tracked down the Bansals after a yearlong hunt.

On April 18, 2005, officials from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) descended on Akhil’s Henry Avenue apartment in Philadelphia, just as he was planning his escape to Canada. Simultaneously, officials of the NCB closed in on Brij Bhushan’s residence in Agra.

Brij Bhushan, interestingly, had served as a surgeon in an army hospital in Delhi.

His modus operandi was simple. Drugs banned in the US and other western countries were marketed under different names and couriered to their destinations, for which his agents collected hefty considerations.

(c) Indo-Asian News Service

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