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2,000 in Mumbai, 1,000 in Kolkata Given Fake COVID Vaccine Doses

Mumbai Police also recovered Rs 1.24 million cash, which was ‘fraudulently obtained’ by the accused.

Updated
COVID-19
2 min read
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Nearly 2,000 people were inoculated with fake COVID vaccine doses in Mumbai and another 1,000, some disabled, in Kolkata, reported NDTV.

According to the report, Mumbai Police has arrested 10 people, including two doctors at a private hospital, who targeted residents of an upscale housing complex.

“We found out that eight more camps had been organised by this syndicate,” reported NDTV, quoting Vishwas Patil, joint commissioner of police. The police also recovered Rs 1.24 million cash that was “fraudulently obtained" by the accused.

The news of the fake vaccination camp came to light after a housing society in Mumbai’s Kandivali filed a complaint.

Neha Alshi, one of the residents of the Hiranandani Heritage Society, stated, “There are doubts over whether we were actually given Covishield or if it was just glucose or expired/waste vaccine.”

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Police said the vials of ‘Covishield’, according to some of the victims, had been sourced from a hospital in Mumbai, but it is unclear what they actually contained.

More Than 1,000 Given Fake Vaccines in Kolkata

In Kolkata, the police said, at least 250 disabled and transgender people were injected with fake vaccine doses at one site. In total, nearly 500 people might have been given counterfeit jabs across the city, they said.

The police arrested one Debanjan Dev, from south Kolkata, who allegedly posed as a civil servant with a masters degree in genetics and operated as many as eight fake vaccination camps.

The ‘scam’ came to light after the man approached Trinamool Congress MP Mimi Chakraborty, who alerted the police.

Chakraborty said that the man requested her to become the chief guest at the camp and take the COVID vaccine shot to encourage people. Around 250 people were vaccinated at the camp.

“I took Covishield vaccine at the camp to motivate people for taking jabs. But I never received a confirmation message from CoWIN.”
Mimi Chakraborty, Trinamool Congress MP

Chakraborty noticed that no Aadhaar card detail was taken from the people to register them on the CoWIN platform. Thus, no one received any confirmation message after the shot.

Police also found that a camp at Kolkata’s Kasba New Market had been running for 12 days and more than 1,000 people had been vaccinated there .

A team of doctors and other healthcare workers will go to every household to see whether the ‘vaccine’ had any side effect.

“The people told us that they had been given Covishield and Sputnik V. But we cannot understand from where they got the vials. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) didn't make an allotment,” an official said.

“We have sent the vials for clinical tests and are waiting for the report. We are not sure what has been injected into the people. If we have not allotted any vial then from where did he get the vials?”
KMC official.

Interrogating Dev, police found out that he posed as the Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Municipal Corporation and moved with an armed bodyguard.

"We have come to know that he had taken interviews of some people, promising jobs in KMC. We are trying to find out if there are more people involved," said a senior police officer of Kolkata Police’s Detective Department.

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has now been filed in the Calcutta High Court seeking an independent probe by CBI into the vaccine scam, reported ANI.

(With inputs from IANS and ANI)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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