Former PM Yousaf Raza Gilani’s son indicted in ephedrine case

An Anti-Narcotics Court, on Friday, indicted former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s son, along with 10 others, in an ephedrine case scandal that rocked the then Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government six years ago.

In 2010, two Pakistani pharmaceutical companies, Berlex Labs in Multan and Danas Pharma, were illegally issued quotas of 6,500 kilogrammes and 2,500 kilogrammes, respectively. Instead of supplying the chemical to Iraq and Afghanistan, they got official permission to sell the drug in the country. The companies then went on to sell the huge quantity of ephedrine acquired to drug traffickers and earned Rs 6billion as a result.

In July 2012, the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) sent the chief executives of the two pharmaceutical companies, accused of involvement in the ephedrine quota case, on judicial remand for 14 days.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty following which the court has set the next hearing for May 12.

Former PM Gilani named as accused in ephedrine case

Ephedrine is often abused for its stimulant qualities. As a phenylethylamine, ephedrine also has a similar chemical structure to amphetamines. Because of this similarity, it can be used to create methamphetamine using a chemical reduction. This makes ephedrine a highly sought-after chemical precursor in the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine.

Methamphetamine use has a high association with depression and suicide as well as heart disease, psychosis, anxiety and violent behaviours. Methamphetamine also has a very high addiction risk.

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