Former Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella arrested

Former Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella arrested

Former Sri Lankan Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella was arrested over the procurement of substandard human intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG).

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) arrested Rambukwella, who is the current Minister of Environment, after recording a statement from him for nearly 10 hours.

The Minister was summoned by the CID to record a statement over his alleged links to the deal.

A court order was issued earlier instructing the Minister to appear before the CID to record a statement over the allegations.

The court had also issued an overseas travel ban against the Minister.

Seven suspects including former Secretary to the Ministry of Health Janaka Chandragupta had already been arrested and remanded over the scam.

The National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) had revealed last October that forged documents were found to have been submitted for Customs clearance to procure a batch of vials containing human immunoglobulin, an antibody produced by blood plasma cells, which later failed quality tests.

The product, which was said to have been manufactured by Livealth Biopharma Pvt Ltd. India, was imported by a local medicine supplier called Isolez Biotech Pharma AG (Pvt) Ltd. However, the India-based manufacturer has denied having a hand in this fraudulent activity and communicated to the NMRA that it has neither manufactured, supplied nor exported these products to any party.

It was also found that funds amounting to Rs. 130 million were misappropriated through the unlawful procurement of 22,500 vials of IVIG. (Colombo Gazette)

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