Home Production house 3 people detained in connection with a fake vaccination racket in Mumbai; housing company, production house among the targets | Details

3 people detained in connection with a fake vaccination racket in Mumbai; housing company, production house among the targets | Details

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Mumbai police have arrested three people who allegedly carried out fraudulent Covid-19 vaccination campaigns in the city. The detentions come hours after India Today TV exposed the racket in the financial capital.

Law enforcement sources said an FIR would soon be registered in the case and the trio would likely be arrested.

At present, they are being interrogated and their statements are being recorded. Sources claim that the defendants organized such vaccination campaigns in various companies, colleges and workplaces in the city.

What is it about ?

On Wednesday, India Today TV reported that a housing company in Kandivali in Mumbai had been duped by a group of three people under the guise of carrying out a vaccination campaign.

As part of a vaccination camp at the Hiranandani Estate Society on May 30, approximately 390 people received doses of Covishield inside the company’s premises.

Residents said that a facilitator, Rajesh Pandey, contacted society committee members claiming to be a representative of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.

READ ALSO | Residents of Mumbai housing company allege ‘vaccination scam’ and suspect they received fake Covid shots

The vaccination campaign was coordinated by one Sanjay Gupta, while a third person, Mahendra Singh, collected the cash from members of the society.

At Rs 1,260 per dose and 390 people receiving the vaccine, the company paid around Rs 5 lakh to the facilitator.

The suspicions arose when none of the inoculated people developed post-vaccination symptoms. These suspicions were reinforced when they started receiving vaccination certificates from different hospitals like Nanavati, Lifeline, Nesco BMC Vaccination Center, etc.

When contacted, these hospitals denied ever having provided vaccines to the housing company in question.

Employees of the production house also duped

Shortly after the exposure, a production house in the city alleged that its staff had also been duped in the same way.

Matchbox Production House alleged that nearly 150 employees and their family members were “vaccinated” with Covishield on May 29 in Mumbai. The vaccination campaign was organized by the same group which is now accused of staging a fake campaign at the Hiranandani Estate Society in Kandivali, Mumbai.

The production house said its employees felt cheated and worried about the substance being injected into their bodies in the name of the Covid-19 vaccine.

No certificates, no post-vaccination symptoms

Like victims of the Hiranandani Estate Society, employees of the production house also said they did not experience any post-vaccination symptoms commonly reported in vaccine recipients.

On top of that, they said they didn’t receive any vaccination certificates until June 12.

On the day of the vaccination, the employees were informed that the trip was carried out by Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, while on June 12, their certificates were issued by Nanavati Hospital.

These two hospitals denied having carried out a vaccination campaign for the production house.

Sources said Matchbox Production House carried out a vaccination campaign at their workplace on May 29. The campaign was organized by SP Event Management Company.

Employees were told that the campaign was run in association with Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and that someone named Rajesh Pandey, an employee of the hospital, would be organizing it.

“We did not receive any vaccination certificates after receiving the shots. They said that due to a backlog, our certificates would be issued a week later. We were concerned as none of us had any symptoms post-vaccination,” a Matchbox employee said. Production company on condition of anonymity.

The employee said he then contacted Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, but was told that the hospital had never conducted such a campaign for the production house.

Speaking to India Today TV, Nanavati Hospital said: “It has come to our attention that staff members of an organization based in Andheri have received Covid-19 vaccination certificates bearing the name of Nanavati Max. Super Specialty Hospital. We would like to clarify that we have not organized any vaccination camp on said campus. We are informing the relevant authorities and will file a formal complaint about it.

Meanwhile, Matchbox Production House producer Sanjay Routray said: “I wouldn’t like to comment until I have all the facts. First, we need to determine whether we are affected or not. If so, we will take action.”

How the band worked

During our investigation, we discovered that the fraudulent vaccination campaigns had been carried out by three people.

One of them (Rajesh Pandey) is an employee of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. He used to approach different companies and private workplaces saying that he is an employee of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and can help them organize vaccination campaign.

The hospital distanced itself from him saying he was acting as an individual. His services were also terminated.

The second person involved in the racketeering has been identified as Sanjay Gupta. We learn that he is associated with an event management company and would bring additional clients for these trips.

The third defendant in the case is Mahendra Singh. He is a former head of a local medical association in Mumbai. The police suspect that he was the one who organized the supply of vaccines with the help of the other two members of the group.

Probe ordered after India Today report

Shortly after India Today TV reported the matter, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) ordered a high level investigation into the matter.

A Deputy City Commissioner (DMC) will lead the investigation and has been given 48 hours to investigate the matter and submit a report.

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