Kolkata vaccination scam: Medicines found in office of fake officer who held camps

It was also revealed during investigation that the arrested man opened several bank accounts in the names of senior Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) officials using fake documents.

Published: 24th June 2021 11:34 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th June 2021 11:34 PM   |  A+A-

Vaccine Covid

Image of vaccine being administered used for representation (File Photo | AP)


KOLKATA: Some of the "vaccines" seized from the office of the arrested fake IAS officer, who had organised several camps to inoculate people, are actually antibiotic injections used for a number of bacterial infections, a Kolkata Police official said on Thursday.

It was also revealed during investigation that the arrested man opened several bank accounts in the names of senior Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) officials using fake documents, the official said.

"Debanjan Deb's office was raided this afternoon from where we have seized a large number of vials of Amikacin injections. We have also recovered fake labels of Covishield from there. Several documents and computers have been seized," he told PTI.

It was found in his office at Kasba area in Kolkata that fake labels of Covaxin were pasted on the vials of Amikacin injections.

"Deb used to purchase Amikacin from chemists stating that he is an official of the KMC," he said adding that dates of manufacture and expiry were not printed on the vials.

Besides Amikacin, other "medicines" were also seized from his office.

Samples of vials seized from the vaccination camp from where he was arrested on Wednesday and from his office on Thursday were sent for tests, the official said.

If Amikacin is administered in a small amount, chances of any major negative impact are slim unless the person concerned is suffering from a severe renal problem, Dr Sanjeeb Bandyopadhyay of the Beliaghata ID Hospital, a state-run facility, told PTI when contacted.

"It is suspected that around 2000 people were inoculated in camps organised by him," the official said.

The KMC has started spotting people who have taken Covid vaccines from his camps.

"After identifying all of them, we will consult doctors after evaluating their health conditions," a senior KMC official said.

The police found "forged seals and papers" of the KMC from Deb's office.

The police arrested the 28-year-old man on Wednesday for allegedly posing as an IAS officer and organising a COVID-19 vaccination camp in Kasba area, where actor and Trinamool Congress MP Mimi Chakraborty had also got her jab.

Chakraborty, who was invited to attend the camp, said she became suspicious about the vaccination process as she did not receive the customary SMS that is sent to people after they are administered a dose, and informed the police.

Asked what was the actual purpose of Deb in holding such free camps and who had been helping him, the IPS officer said, "It's yet to be known. The accused has not yet spoken on this."

The probe revealed that Deb had also conducted another vaccination camp in a college in the northern part of the city's Amherst Street where several teachers and students had taken the vaccine.

"He had also distributed masks and sanitiser, besides inoculating people in these areas," the official said.

Sleuths are also looking for the people who funded the camps and from where he had procured the vials.

"We need to know what else he had done using this fake identity and who else are associated with him. One person cannot single-handedly organise such programmes," the police official said.

He used to introduce himself as a joint commissioner of the KMC and travel in a large car with the logo of the state government.

During the probe, the police found that Deb had opened a couple of bank accounts in the names of senior officials of the KMC in a private bank using forged documents and a complaint was lodged at the New Market police station on Thursday.

"We found that money was deposited in the accounts," the police officer said.

Deb might have political connections that helped him in organising the vaccination camps, the officer said.

Meanwhile, several photographs in which the arrested man is purportedly seen with senior Trinamool Congress leaders have surfaced on Thursday.

The official said the police are checking whether the photographs are genuine or fake.

Deb had sought personal security guards from the state Information and Cultural Affairs Department after identifying himself as an OSD of the central government, he said.


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