The black market economy is a commercial activity that operates outside of laws, regulations, and taxes. It’s also called the shadow economy, the underground economy, or the informal economy.
As India faces a devastating surge of new coronavirus infections overwhelming its health care system, people are taking desperate measures to try to keep loved ones alive. In some cases they are turning to unproven medical treatments, in others to the black market for life-saving medications that are in short supply.
In the last three weeks, the police have busted at least 75 cases and arrested more than 90 people who were either hoarding these items or selling them at exorbitant rates.
A flourishing black market of medicines and medical devices has come up ever since the ongoing Covid-19 wave has overburdened the health care system, leading to desperate calls for hospital beds, oxygen, antiviral injections, and devices such as oxygen concentrators, flowmeters, and pulse oximeters.
The cases also show that most of the people arrested so far for such crimes are those connected to hospitals — a doctor, security guards, nurses, lab technicians — or are medical salespersons, chemists, and drivers who work for private ambulance and cab services. In their interrogation report, the motive, as mentioned by the police is usually the same — “earn quick money.”