June 20, 2021 10:10:51 pm
A FIFTH person has been arrested in connection with the alleged vaccination scam at Hiranandani Heritage housing society in Kandivali even as a second FIR registered against the same gang by the Versova police Saturday for conducting another alleged unauthorised inoculation drive at a residential society for staffers of a film production house in Andheri (west) last month.
The Versova police had received a complaint last week from film producer Sanjay Routray of the Matchbox Pictures Private Ltd that on May 29 as many as 151 of its employees and their relatives had been vaccinated at a housing society in Andheri (west).
A police officer from Versova police station said, “Only 10 people (at the Andheri west housing society) received certificates from the Nanavati hospital. Like in the Kandivali case, we suspect the gang misused the details of the hospital to log in to the CoWin app and issue forged certificates. We will seek the custody of the accused after they are remanded to judicial custody in Kandivali police’s case.”
Senior Police Inspector Siraj Inamdar said an FIR, under the same sections as in the Kandivali case, has been registered against the group at the Versova police station.
The Kandivali police, meanwhile, said the fifth accused, Karim Akbar Ali (21), who was nabbed from Madhya Pradesh and brought to the city last night, was produced before a magistrate court in Borivali Sunday. Ali, the police said, was involved in transporting the vaccines. He has been remanded to police custody.
The Kandivali police are now searching for a doctor who helped in procuring the vaccines. “After questioning the doctor, it will be clear if the vaccines were genuine or not,” a police officer from Kandivali police station said. The main accused in the alleged Kandivali vaccination scam, Rajesh Pandey, meanwhile, has approached the Sessions Court for anticipatory bail, the police said.
On May 30, the gang had conducted the drive at Hiranandani Heritage Housing Society on SV Road in Kandivali (west) and administered the first dose of Covishield vaccine to 390 residents. While a majority of the beneficiaries did not get certificates, the few who did were given certificates from different hospitals. Those who got certificates approached the hospitals named in the certificates and were told by the authorities that they were not involved in the exercise. Following this, the residents had approached the Kandivali police. On Thursday and Friday last week, the Kandivali police arrested four persons in the case.
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