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Updated on: Thursday, December 23, 2021, 11:01 PM IST

Mumbai: COVID-19 vaccine certificates are on sell for ₹2000, two held

The certificates are available on CoWIN portal which a major system flaw, said police
Mumbai: COVID-19 vaccine certificates are on sell for ₹2000, two held  | FPJ

Mumbai: COVID-19 vaccine certificates are on sell for ₹2000, two held | FPJ

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The city crime branch has unearthed a COVID-19 vaccine certificate racket involving a 'doctor' from Uttar Pradesh. The accused were caught selling fake vaccine certificates for ₹2000 each, interestingly the certificates were also available in the official CoWIN portal, which is a major system flaw, said officials.

Acting on specific information, the crime branch approached the accused Zuber Shaikh, 19 through a bogus customer, he was apprehended on Wednesday from Kurla when he came to deliver a fake vaccination certificate. He led the crime branch to second accused Alfez Khan, 19 who was arrested from Wadala.

Initially, the officials suspected the fake certificate to be just a photocopy of printout by making changes in the original certificate of someone, however, they were shocked when they found the certificate available on the official government CoWIN portal as making it impossible to question their validity, said officials.

On a closer look, the officials found the vaccine batch ID of both the doses mentioned on the certificate to be the same, which should be ideally different considering the gap between the two doses. The gap between two doses for Covishield is 84 days while in the case for Covaxin it is 28 days, as a result, the vaccine batch number differs for everyone, said officials while pointing to a major system flaw.

In his interrogation, Khan who recently returned from Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh claimed that he procured the certificates in connivance with a doctor from Pratapgarh who runs a vaccine centre in the area along with his assistant known as Badal.

Since two doses have been made mandatory from air travel to public transport, many people who don't want to take vaccines fearing the side effects are trying such ways. However, they are risking their own and others lives at risk by refusing to take the medicine, said an official.

For each certificate, the accused would charge ₹2000 and have so far sold eight certificates of them four had been given to their relatives.

The police arrested the duo under the charges pertaining to cheating and forgery along with sections of the Epidemic act. The doctor and his assistant have been made accused in the case and the case has been transferred to Kurla police station which is likely to send a team to UP to nad doctor soon, said officials.

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Published on: Thursday, December 23, 2021, 11:01 PM IST
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