IT conducts searches at Hetero Group in Hyderabad, Vishakapatnam

Hyderabad/Vishakapatnam: Income Tax department officials conducted simultaneous searches at offices and other facilities belonging to Hetero, a well-known pharmaceutical group, on Wednesday, official sources said.

The searches are being conducted at the firm’s headquarters, some of the manufacturing facilities and offices here and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, they said.

“The department has recovered some documents and seized some computers hard disks which will be analysed if there is any possible tax evasion,” the sources told PTI. Company officials could not be reached for their comment.

Hetero shot into limelight after the group signed several agreements and undertook development of various drugs such as Remdesivir and Favipiravir to treat COVID-19.

Hetero is one of major global suppliers of APIs (including cytotoxics) to the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture formulations and new-generation products in India and abroad. The city-based Hetero has over 25 manufacturing facilities located in India, China, Russia, Egypt, Mexico and Iran.

Hetero last month said it had received Emergency Use Authorisation from Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for its biosimilar version of Tocilizumab for treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalised adults.

The Rs 7,500 crore pharma major is one of the firms that has tied up with Russian Direct Investment Fund to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V in India.