The Mumbai Police on Friday has arrested 10 people in connection with the fake vaccination racket in the city. Of these, two are Shivraj Pataria and Nita Pataria, owners of Shivam Hospital in Kandivali West.
According to the police, Shivam Hospital supplied vials to the team that organised the racket. The Mumbai Police told the media on Friday the investigation has so far revealed that Shivam Hospital had procured vaccines from BMC before April 30.
While some of these vials still contained Covishield, some of them were empty and these were handed over to the other accused. So of the 2,000-odd people that were vaccinated through the nine fake drives, some of them were administered just saline water instead of the actual vaccine.
The Mumbai Police said a total of seven cases have been registered against the 10 accused across six police stations. This is based on various complaints received by victims of the fake vaccination drives that were organised between May 26 to June 6.
Of these, the latest was in Malad West in the Bangur Nagar Police station for vaccination of 40 people at a Bank of Baroda branch. Another case was registered in Borivali West for vaccination of 514 people at stock advisory firm Mansi Shares and Stocks.
In addition to the owners of Shivam Hospital, the 10 arrested include Mahendra Pratap Singh, Sanjay Vijay Gupta, Chandan Ramsagar Singh, Nitin Vasant Moden, Mohammad Karim Akbar Ali, Gudiya Rambali Yadav, Shrikant Nivruti Mane and Sima Rajesh Ahuja. According to the police, Mahendra Pratap Singh and Manish Tripathi are the main accused in the entire vaccination racket.
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The police also recovered Rs 12.4 lakh from the accused and the bank accounts of Mahendra Pratap Singh and Manish Tripathi have been frozen. Cases have been registered under various acts including the Disaster Management Act, Drugs and Cosmetics Act, IT Act, Section 3 Epidemic Diseases Act, among others.
The fake vaccination racket first came to light after 390 residents of Hiranandani Heritage in Kandivali filed a complaint with the police that they may have been victims of a fake vaccination drive. This came after they were approached by Rajesh Pandey claiming to be from Kokilaben Ambani Hospital, but the vaccination certificates they received were from various other hospitals. Pandey continues to be absconding.
First Published: IST