Vaccination Fraud in Mumbai: Cops to enquire role of trainee nurses

Mumbai, June 21: Kandivali Police, who are probing the fraud vaccination drive undertaken at Hiranandani Heritage, by mastermind Mahendra Pratap Singh, his aide event manager Sanjay Gupta, two men-- Chandan alias Lalit Singh, Nitin Mode and 21-year-old Qareem Akbar Ali, along with Rajesh Pandey, former employee of a private hospital and a doctor, who are at large, will be rigorously enquiring about the roles of the nurses, to ascertain if they were aware of the unauthorized drive or were they victims. Police are also reaching out to the locations where the drive was conducted by the accused gang and verifying the claims.

Police said that the probe so far has revealed that the wanted doctor, who owns the nursing and paramedic institute at Charkop, from where the trainee nurses were brought in to administer the vaccines, had asked the 21-year-old man to deliver the vials. Police also suspect that this doctor, who has gone underground, has most likely already destroyed the evidence and paper trail that was crucial for the further investigation.

The investigators are trying to ascertain if the same set of trainee nurses were used as vaccinators for every fraud drive or they were changed, so as to accordingly book them as co-accused or treat them as victims if they were unaware and acting on the behest of their boss' orders.

While the doctor is deemed to have procured the vials through unauthorized channels, had orchestrated the entire plan and put it into force. Moreover, a senior official told The Free Press Journal on condition of anonymity, "Mahendra has told investigators that the vials were reused for several vaccination drives, which raises a serious alarm on the authenticity of the vaccines. Meanwhile, police have not even recovered these vaccine vials, which could be destroyed by now."

After Mahendra was picked up from Panvel last week for enquiries, Kandivali Police managed to recover the SIM card as he had destroyed his phone, which was crucial evidence. Moreover, the probe has revealed that similar vaccination drives were carried out at Parel, two locations in Thane, Andheri, Versova, Kandivali and Borivali.

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Free Press Journal