Mumbai: One of the main accused in the 'fake' vaccination drive, Rajesh Pandey, was apprehended from Baramati late on Wednesday, over a fortnight after the scam came to light at Kandivali-based society Hiranandani Heritage and shed light on the nine other locations where a similar drive was conducted. With Pandey's arrest, the total number of accused arrested reached 12.
Pandey, a former employee of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, who was sacked soon after his name cropped up in the investigation, had conducted unauthorised vaccination drives in Mumbai and Thane claiming that it was organized by Kokilaben Hospital, luring and cheating a number of people and allegedly administering saline water instead of the authentic vaccines. Pandey, who had been on the run since the arrests were being made, was the face of the fake vaccination drive as people only knew him as an employee of Kokilaben Hospital and trusted him with the hospital's name.
Soon after Pandey was named as the main accused and it was revealed that he had misused Kokilaben Ambani hospital's name, they managed to get a handwritten statement from him where he confessed to conducting these unauthorised vaccination drives. The hospital subsequently terminated him from his services. Pandey had promised the beneficiaries of fake vaccine that they need not worry about the CoWin registration and orchestrated the whole drive in the name of Kokilaben Ambani hospital.
Police investigation has revealed that a total of 2,666 people were duped by the accused in 10 unauthorised vaccination drives, while at least two more drives are under scanner, latest being at Andheri (E), where over 1,000 people of a gold company were inoculated.