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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Mumbai police arrest Rajesh Pandey, key accused in fake Covid-19 vaccination drives

Rajesh Pandey, named in multiple FIRs, is accused of using his identity as an employee of Kokilaben Ambani Hospital and swindling money from people in bogus vaccination programmes.

Written by Jayprakash S Naidu | Mumbai |
Updated: July 1, 2021 7:03:15 pm
Covaxin, Covid-19A woman gets vaccinated in Mumbai on Tuesday. (Express Photo By Ganesh Shirsekar)

The Kandivali police arrested Rajesh Pandey, the key accused in a bogus Covid-19 vaccination drive, from Baramati on Wednesday and he will be brought back to Mumbai by Thursday evening, confirmed Dilip Sawant, additional commissioner, north region.

Pandey has been accused in five of the 10 cases filed in various fake vaccination drives in Mumbai cheating nearly 2700 people. A former marketing executive of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Pandey conducted a fake vaccination drive for 390 residents of Hiranandani Heritage Society in Kandivali (West) on May 30. And on June 4, he tricked a private company at Amboli with another fraudulent inoculation drive, swindling Rs 2.94 lakh.

On June 14, the matter came to light after the residents tweeted that they did not suffer any side effects and that many did not receive vaccination certificates. Those who got certificates issued from the CoWIN app said the vaccination centre names were forged. Apart from Kandivali and Amboli, his name has come up in three more drives at Versova, Borivali and Khar.

“Pandey is the main accused as he was the one who approached the victims. There are more accused whose role is being investigated,” said Someshwar Kamthe, senior inspector of Amboli police station.

Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital terminated Pandey’s service and he had been absconding since then. Pandey had approached the Dindoshi sessions court last month for anticipatory bail but it was rejected.

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