Mumbai: Maharashtra Cyber cell has registered an FIR against unidentified people for allegedly impersonating as distributors of a reputed pharma company and selling bogus Remdesivir and Tocilizumab tablets online as well as duping them in the process. A probe is underway and the complaint was registered after the pharma company approached the police.

With the ongoing shortage of COVID-related medicines, a number of people across the state have fallen prey to the online fraud on the pretext of procuring Remdesivir and Tocilizumab medicines through a prominent pharmaceutical company executive. In the light of these incidents, the company's corporate communications Communications approached the Maharashtra Cyber Police and lodged a complaint on Wednesday.

In the complaint, the company stated that a few mobile numbers had posted on various social media platforms that they were authorized dealers of the pharma company. Upon contacting, it was conveyed the vaccine would be made available only on payment of a certain amount in advance via online transactions and subsequently the vaccines would be delivered to the citizens. After the pharma company were initimated about the fraud, they had given a clarification on their social media handles on April 27.

The state cyber team immediately began the probe and preliminary investigation revealed that many citizens had paid the entire money in advance, and when they followed up on the contact numbers provided for the vaccine delivery they were given laidback replies. Moreover, many citizens had also received water and fake medicines in the bottles labelled as vaccines with the complainant company’s logo.

Based on these findings, a case was registered by the Maharashtra Cyber wherein they booked the unidentified accused under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for criminal conspiracy, cheating, voluntarily causing grievous hurt along with sections of the Information Technology Act, The Trademarks Act, Drugs and Cosmetics Act for impersonating dealers in medicines of Remdivisir and Tocilizumab

The Maharashtra Cyber also issued directives to relevant Telecom provider companies to seek the details of the numbers used for this online fraud. The investigating team is coordinating with the banks where the amount was credited and asking them to freeze such accounts till the investigation is complete.

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