RAWALPINDI - Lahore High Court (LHC), Rawalpindi bench, awarded post-arrest bail to three accused in ephedrine smuggling case here on Tuesday.

LHC Rawalpidni Bench Justice Chaudhry Muhammad Younis and Justice Ali Baqir Najafi laid down their verdict reserved last week on bail applications of former DG Health Dr Asad Hafeez, chief executive Danas Pharma Company Islamabad Ansar Farooq Chaudhry and Chief Executive Berlex Lab International Multan Iftikhar Khan Babar, the three main characters had been arrested by Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) for their alleged involvement in getting huge quantity of controlled chemical Ephedrine and later smuggling it out of the country.

The court also ordered the three accused to submit surety bonds each worth Rs 100,000.

ANF, during an action, nabbed the owners of the two companies in April, 2012 after their pre-arrest bail pleas were rejected while they force held Dr Asad Hafeez in June, 2012. The owners of the two companies were accused of first obtaining 9,000-kg ephedrine quota for export purpose to send it to Iraq and Afghanistan and later getting it convert for local consumption and finally smuggling the controlled chemical to Iran via Balochistan.

While, the former DG Health was accused of allowing the conversion of export quota into local use quota of the Ephedrine.

Ansar Farooq and Iftikhar Babar, in their bail pleas, stated that they duly obtained the quota, got it converted for local consumption and manufactured different medicines.

The accused mentioned that they had provided the interrogators the record of the manufacturing of the medicines and its distribution in different parts of the country in 2010 adding that if there was any wrong alleged to have been done the case could only be investigated by drug authorities and tried by the drug courts.

Former DG Health Dr Asad Hafeez, in his bail plea, had stated that he duly following the relevant rules and regulations converted the export quota for local consumption with out any pressure and allurement.

ANF launched interrogation in Ephedrine smuggling case after filing a case in October 2012.

The investigators, while citing the statement of former DG Health Dr Rasheed Juma as approver, alleged that ephedrine quota was allocated under the pressure of Makhdoom Shahab-ud-Din and Ali Musa Gilani, a PPP MNA from Multan and son of former prime minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani.

ANF also claimed that two owners after obtaining the ephedrine quota smuggled it to Iran and pocketed Rs 7 billion.

Earlier, Syed Ali Musa Gilani and Makhdoom Shahab had already obtained pre-arrest bails from the Supreme Court of Pakistan in ephedrine quota allocation case.