Vishwas Nangre Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order)
Vishwas Nangre Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order)

The Mumbai Police on Friday said it has so far arrested ten people in the fake vaccination scam case.

"8 accused persons arrested, bank accounts of the main accused have been frozen in the case of fake vaccination camp at Hiranandani Estate Society. So far, total 10 people arrested. 8 more camps were organised by this syndicate. 6 other cases registered," Vishwas Nangre Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

He also said that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted for further investigation. "In fake vaccine case, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted under Deputy Commissioner of Police, Vishal Thakur," Vishwas Nangre Patil said.

According to a report by NDTV, the accused have been charged with attempt to commit culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The scammed citizens may have been injected with saline, or salt, water, the report quoted Mumbai Police as saying.

As per the report, Vishwas Nangre Patil said Rs 12.40 lakh that was fraudulently obtained has been recovered from the eight accused.

According to a complaint registered by the residents of the society, on May 30, the management committee of Hiranandani Heritage had arranged a Covid vaccination drive for its residents and their in-house staff, including the security guards, drivers, and domestic helps.

In a complaint submitted to the Kandivali police, the Hiranandani Heritage Residents Welfare Association (HHRWA) had said that a vaccination camp was arranged by the residential complex on May 30. But later it found that the Co-WIN portal did not have any record of the people who participated and they had received certificates in the name of different hospitals. The members had also expressed fears that the vaccine administered could be spurious.

Based on the complaint, an FIR under sections 268 (public nuisance), 270 (malignant act which is likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life), 274 (adulteration of drugs), 275 (sale of adulterated drugs), 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery) and others, as well as relevant sections of IT Act and Epidemic Diseases Act, was registered.

During the investigation, it came to light that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had not given permission to organise such a camp and no medical officer was present during the drive.

The residents had in their complaint stated that a facilitator, Rajesh Pandey, who claimed to be a sales representative from Kokilaben Hospital, negotiated with them for providing 400 vaccine doses on their society premises. They further stated that each dose cost Rs 1,260 and around Rs 5 lakh was paid.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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