Mumbai police have arrested four persons for allegedly duping a housing society in suburban Kandivali by organising a COVID-19 vaccination camp fraudulently in the name of a private hospital, an official said on Friday.
In a complaint submitted to the police, the Hiranandani Heritage Residents Welfare Association (HHRWA) had said that a vaccination camp was arranged by the residential complex on May 30.
But later it found that the Co-WIN portal did not have any record of the people who participated and they received certificates in the name of different hospitals.
The members had also expressed fears that the vaccine administered could be spurious.
"Police have arrested four persons, who were involved in organising the COVID-19 vaccination camp at the housing society. Besides them, one more person, who had procured vaccines for the camp has been detained at a railway station in Madhya Pradesh and a team of Mumbai police bringing him to the city," Additional Commisioner of Police (North) Dilip Sawant said.
It has also come to light that the members of the racket had organised vaccination camps at nine other places, he said, adding that the investigation into it is on.
According to another official, the incident had come to light after around 390 residents of the housing society located on S V Road got the certificates of three different organizations for getting the jabs through Co-WIN app.
The vaccination camp was organised at the club house of the society on May 30 and each member had paid Rs 1,260 per vaccine, he said, adding that the society had collectively paid a total of Rs 4.56 lakh to the camp organisers.
When the vaccinated members asked for vaccination certificate, the organiser sought details of the members.
However, after getting certificates of three different organisations, a society member, who was one of the participants of the drive, approached Kandivali police station and filed a complaint against the organisers, the official said.
"The complaint said that the organisers gave vaccines to the members from the vials whose seals were already removed," he said.
Based on the complaint, a first information report under sections 268 (public nuisance), 270 (malignant act which is likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life), 274 (adulteration of drugs), 275 (sale of adulterated drugs), 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery) and others, as well as relevant sections of IT Act and Epidemic Diseases Act, was registered, he said.
During the investigation, it came to light that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had not given permission to organise such a camp and no medical officer was present during the drive, the official said.
"It also seems that the vaccine used in the camp was not sourced from authorised persons and no COVID-19 related norms were followed," he said.
After a detailed investigation, police arrested four persons in the case, he said, adding that the arrested accused includes a male organiser of the vaccination camp, and other persons, who had issued fake vaccination certificates after obtaining personal data of the vaccinated members.