Mumbai: Vax fraud: Two, including key accused Rajesh Pandey, arrested

The police have arrested main accused Rajesh Pandey and administrator of Shivam Hospital Rahul Dubey on Thursday in connection with the fake vaccination drive. With this, the total number of people arrested in the case is 13.
A senior police official told FPJ that Pandey, who was on the run since the scam came to light, had been changing locations. He reached Baramati on Wednesday night from where he was apprehended and brought to the city.
The police said that during interrogation Dr. Manish Tripathi said that Dubey had orchestrated the entire plan. He had planned to fill the empty vaccine bottles with saline water, which was administered to over 2,686 victims across the city.
Pandey was an employee of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. However, he was sacked soon after his name cropped up in the investigations. People had fallen for this scam as Pandey was an employee with Kokilaben hospital.
Soon after Pandey was named as the main accused, the hospital asked him to give a handwritten statement in which he confessed that he conducted these unauthorised vaccination drives on his own accord. The hospital subsequently terminated him from service.
The police said that all these unauthorized vaccination drives were largely carried out between May 25 and June 6. A senior official also said that Dr. Nita Pataria, head of Shivam Hospital, played an active role in planning the drives, along with Tripathi and Singh.
On Thursday, yet another FIR was lodged with the MIDC police in Andheri (E). With this, 11 FIRs have been lodged against the accused. In the last one, 1,055 people of a gold company were inoculated by the same gang between April 28 and June 12. The victims were charged Rs 1,100 per dose.
The police have booked eight people, Dr. Manish Tripathi, director of Shivam Hospital Arvind Jadhav, Pawan Singh, Anurag, Roshni Patel, Qareem Ali, Neha Sharma and others under relevant sections of the IPC, Drugs and Cosmetic Act, Information Technology Act and Epidemic Diseases Act.
Till now police have registered 11 cases in connection to the fake vaccination drive in Mumbai and Thane, in which 13 people have been arrested.

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