NEW DELHI: A 49-year-old man, who used to impersonate himself as an official of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, was arrested for allegedly cheating people on the pretext of providing work order for transportation of COVID-19 vaccine to different states.
The accused, identified as Umesh Batra, duped more than six people to the tune of Rs 15 crore. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Economic Offence Wing) MI Haider said that several complaints were received from people that they had been duped of Rs 3-4 crore on the pretext of providing a work order for the transportation of Covid vaccines. In all complaints, the complainants described the same modus operandi and levelled allegations against the same people.
“They claimed that they were made to sit inside the conference room of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in order to execute the work order for transportation of Covid vaccines, which were later on found to be fake,” the DCP said. After a preliminary inquiry, a case under relevant sections was registered by the Economic Offence Wing of the Delhi Police, and an investigation was taken up.
The senior official said that the investigation revealed that in May 2021, accused persons came in contact with complainants and offered they could manage the work order from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for transportation of Covid vaccines. To gain the trust of the complainants, they brought them to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which is located inside the premises of Nirman Bhavan.
“The accused persons impersonated themselves as officers of the Ministry and obtained signatures of the complainants on forged work orders. In lieu of such forged work orders, they received Rs 15 crore from the complainants,” the official said.
The bank accounts and other details of the alleged persons were scrutinized and analyzed, which revealed that there was a huge cash deposit in the bank accounts of the alleged persons. During the course of the investigation, five accused, Harman Sabherwal, Govind Tulshyan, Diprana Tiwari, Trilok Singh, and Mrityunjoy Roy, were arrested during August-September 2022, however, accused Umesh Batra was absconding.
“As he was absconding, a proclamation under section 82 of the CRPC was issued against him by a court. In the meantime, on December 21, the accused Umesh Batra surrendered before the court and he was arrested with court’s permission,” DCP Haider said.