//Indian IT professional arrested for online drug sale

Indian IT professional arrested for online drug sale

Salt Lake techie’s US link revealed

Statesman News Service

KOLKATA, Feb. 13: Mr Sanjay Kedia, the CEO of Xponse Technologies Limited and Xponse IT Services Private Ltd, who was arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act by Narcotics Control Bureau officials yesterday, was the kingpin of an international Internet drug trafficking racket.

Along with US-based, Mr Steven Mahana, who owned 49 per cent share in Xponse, Mr Kedia was allegedly involved in trafficking psychotropic substances, mainly phentermine, on the Internet, NCB’s regional director, Mr Sandeep Mittal, said today. Mr Kedia was yesterday remanded in judicial custody. The operation against the racket was carried out on 1 February by the NCB in association with Customs, Central Excise, public sector banks and IT experts in India and the US drug enforcement administration. According to NCB officials, Mr Kedia used to take online orders for psychotropic substances, mainly from the USA, Canada and Sweden, by using toll-free numbers and the Internet. Mr Kedia allegedly received payments through various gateways, including Paynova, which is used for high-risk Internet transactions such as gambling and obtaining membership of pornographic sites.

The orders were put on the online pharmacy’s interface by filling fake prescriptions and signatures of doctors. “The Xponse call centre in Salt Lake used to control the entire transaction to obtain and supply psychotropic substances outside India in violation of section 12 of the NDPS Act of 1985, which is punishable under sections 24, 29, 30 and 38 of the Act,” Mr Mittal said. Buyers from India and other Asian countries, however, could not access about 29 of Xponse’s pharmacy websites, prominent among them were *www.deliveredmedicine.com, www.truevaluepharmacy.com, www.deliveredphentermine.com and www.expressphentermine.com, as they were protected by firewalls. “Mr Kedia’s customers were mainly from the US and other western countries,” Mr Mittal said.

NCB officials said Mr Kedia was also instrumental in laundering large sums of drug money in bank accounts in Hong Kong, Luxembourg, the USA and Sweden. Mr Kedia’s bank accounts in India were frozen and transactions showed that he had $10 million in bank accounts in Luxembourg under fictitious names, Mr Mittal said. “A team will go to the USA to interrogate Mr Mahana…”.