Two people arrested for allegedly organising a fake COVID-19 vaccination drive in a residential complex in Kandivali last month have now been accused of pulling of a similar fraud in Versova in the metropolis, police said on Sunday. Sanjay Raut Rai, a film producer, has told Versova police that Kandivali case accused Sanjay Gupta and Rajesh Pandey, through their SP Events firm, organised a vaccination camp for his 150 staffers and kin on May 29, but despite being promised certificates from a renowned Andheri hospital, no documentation of the inoculation materialized, an official said.
Rai, in his complaint, stated that the duo told him the vaccination certificates were getting delayed due to a backlog and would be distributed within a week of the vaccination camp, while staffers said they did not experience any post-vaccination symptoms that most beneficiaries have spoken about. “We have registered an FIR on the complaint of Rai and will arrest Gupta and Pandey after they secure bail in the Kandivali case. The two have duped the complainant of over Rs 2 lakh, and have been charged with cheating and forgery under IPC provisions,” said Senior Inspector Siraj Inamdar of Versova police station.
Gupta, Pandey and some others had organised a vaccination camp in a housing society in Kandivali West on May 30, and had pocketed Rs 4.56 lakh from the 390 residents who took the jabs. However, the residents soon started suspecting something amiss as the vaccination certificates and names of issuing hospitals did not seem to be in order, nor did the Centre’s CoWin portal have details of those who had been administered the doses, police had said.
Police believe this gang may have held such bogus camps in nine places, and further probe was underway to unravel the complete extent of the vaccination racket run by them.