Kolkata Police has arrested a man who pretended to be an IAS officer and ran fake vaccination drives using the Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s (KMC) name in several parts of the city. TMC MP Mimi Chakraborty also took the Covishield vaccine from the camp to motivate people for taking jabs. But she didn’t receive a confirmation message from CoWin.
Immediately, Mimi lodged a complaint with Kolkata Police and the accused was arrested Thursday. The accused bought the vaccines from a local market (Bagri market) in Kolkata. Fake vials of Covishield were recovered from Kasba Vaccination Camp. The vaccination camp was organised in the name of the KMC at its office in South Kolkata on Tuesday.
Debanjan (accused) had collected lakhs of rupees by selling vaccines to a private company.
According to forensic experts, Amikacin was allegedly given to vaccinators under the name Covishield. According to doctors, these injections are mainly used to prevent bacterial infections. These injections are usually used for fever, runny nose and cough.
Police arrested Debanjan Deb on Thursday afternoon. The label on the recovered vaccine reads Covaxin recombinant or Covishield recombinant. This means the fake vaccine was made by mixing water with some powder. The vaccine is fake as it does not have any batch number date or expiry date, says KMC officials.
On Thursday, police raided the office in Kasba with Debanjan Dev, accused of vaccine fraud, accompanied by a forensic team. A search revealed several vials from his office. Masks, sanitisers, medicines, documents and important equipment were also recovered.
Besides, the police said that all the vials collected so far had not expired. But the confiscated vaccine has been sent to the lab for testing as there are doubts about whether it is real or fake. Police are convinced from the outset that no one can do such an adventurous “fraud” alone. The accused opened several bank accounts in the name of Senior KMC officials using fake documents.
There is a big racket behind it. The names of the female seafarers of Debanjan also came up in search. The woman was present at the vaccination camp held by Debanjan at Kasba as well as City College. Debanjan also conducted a vaccination camp at City College opposite Amherst Street Police Station.
Debanjan introduced himself as a WBCS officer. Those who have already been vaccinated said that they had not seen the vaccine come out. No one was allowed to enter the centre with their phone.
Debanjan Deb may be charged with an attempt to murder. CM Mamata Banerjee herself is believed to have instructed the commissioner of Kolkata Police to add the attempt to the murder case. CM told no one associated with the fraud should be spared.
Panic is spreading among the general public about the fake vaccine camp in the Kasba area of Kolkata. KMC took the initiative to make a list of those who were vaccinated from this camp. A committee has been formed to check the health of those who have been vaccinated at the Debanjan vaccination camp in Kasba.
Earlier, reports of a vaccination scam had emerged from Mumbai after residents of a housing society in the city’s Kandivali area claimed they were given fake Covid-19 shots by a vaccination racket.
Meanwhile, several photographs went viral where the accused was seen with senior TMC leaders.