Days after residents of a plush housing society in Kandivali alleged the administration of fake Covid-19 vaccines during a private vaccination camp, it has now come to light that similar vaccination drives were conducted for two film production houses by the same agency, involving the same people.
SP Events has been under the radar for organising a fake vaccination drive at Kandivali’s Hiranandani Heritage Society on May 30. However, on May 29 and May 30, the same agency had organised a vaccination camp for Tips Industries Ltd.
As per the latest reports, 4 accused persons have been arrested by Kandivali police in the fake vaccination drive case. They have been sent to judicial custody till 25 June. Details of the accused are not released by the police.
Mumbai fake vaccine scam case: All 4 accused, who were arrested, have been sent to police custody till 25th June.— The Times Of India (@timesofindia) June 18, 2021
Ramesh Taurani, the Bollywood producer who heads Tips Industries, confirmed to Times of India that one Sanjay Gupta from SP Events had carried out the inoculation drive for his staff and colleagues. Besides Gupta, one ex-employee of Kokilaben Ambani Hospital named Rajesh Pandey was also involved.
“A vaccination drive was carried out for our staff, and we are still waiting for certificates. When my office contacted Pandey, he said the certificates will come by Saturday (June 12). 356 of our people were vaccinated and paid ₹1,200 per person plus GST,” the Tips Industries’ Head remarked.
Taurani added, “But more than the money, now we are worried about what was given to us. Is it genuine Covishield or any saline water? We were told we would get the vaccination certificate from Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (in Mumbai).” He has now filed a complaint with the Versova police.
Matchbox Pictures too duped by SP Events
A producer, who has known Rajesh Pandey for 3 years, told The Times of India that the accused would help his staff get doctors and hospital beds out of turn. “He was our go-to man for medical needs,” the producer added. He emphasised that he reached out to Rajesh Pandey after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) gave a green signal to private hospitals to carry out vaccination drive. The producer had received a text message from the accused on May 21, asking about the number of people to be vaccinated.
Once he had handed over the list of names, the vaccination drive was carried out on May 29. Reportedly, Rajesh had also visited the camp to supervise if everything was working fine. The accused had assured that the data of the vaccinated individuals would be entered online by his back office later. When the beneficiaries did not receive their certificates, the producer had taken up the matter with Rajesh. Later, a few of the vaccinated individuals received their certificates from a hospital in Vile Parle that was not associated with the vaccination camp.
Rajesh had charged each individual ₹1260 for the vaccine doses and demanded that the money be transferred to a current account. “It was only after Hiranandani Heritage residents approached police and Pandey was picked up for questioning did we realise our camp was fraudulent as well,” the producer emphasised.
The description matches that of Matchbox Pictures which had vaccinated 150 staff members on May 29 as well. While employees were told that they would receive certificates from Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, they instead got it from Vile Parle-based Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital.
Interestingly, the date of vaccination was registered in the certificate as June 12. “We weren’t given any vaccination certificates after receiving the jabs. The company said due to a backlog, our certificates would be issued a week later. We were worried because none of us experienced any post-vaccination symptoms,” an employee anonymously told India Today. However, producer Sanjay Routray said that he would only comment after seeing all the facts.
Vaccination camp fraud in Hiranandani Estate Society
Mumbai Police and the civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday (June 16) launched an investigation after residents of a plush housing society in Mumbai’s Kandivali area alleged that they have been the victims of a Covid vaccination drive fraud. The residents of Mumbai’s Hiranandani Estate Society had alleged that the Covid-19 vaccines given to them during the private vaccination camp organised in their society on May 30 were possibly fake.
Residents filed a complaint at the Kandivli police station after they spotted several irregularities in the entire process. The vaccination camp was reportedly held in Mumbai’s Hiranandani Estate Society on May 30. As many as 390 members received the jabs at the camp at Rs 1,260 per person. The vaccine recipients of the housing society said that none of them developed any sort of side effects after being inoculated. This raised doubts in the mind of the people of the society.
Moreover, residents were told that the vaccinations would be given to them by Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Andheri. However, once they began to receive immunisation certificates, that too after 10-15 days, they discovered that their vaccines came from Nanavati Max Super Speciality, Lifeline Hospitals, and NESCO Jumbo Centre. This further raised the resident’s concern that something was amiss. Furthermore, none of the recipients had registered on the Government’s CoWin App before being inoculated, which is a mandatory process.
They were registered after being vaccinated. After receiving the vaccination the recipients received phone calls requesting the Cowin OTP. Following this, they received their certificates which were full of wrong information, like date of vaccination, name of the hospital, etc. These three hospitals, whose name appeared on the vaccination certificates, denied ever delivering vaccines to the housing society in question when approached. This purported vaccination scam had sent the people of Mumbai, the state administration, and hospital officials into a tizzy.
It is not only Tips Industries who have been duped. Industry insiders claim that many production houses have been scammed by SP Events.