Pune police has arrested seven people on Friday alleging that they used the photograph of Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII) and transferred Rs 1.01 crore to various accounts from a director of the leading vaccine manufacturing firm’s account.
A police official said during media interaction that the FIR was registered at the Bundgarden police station in the second week of September. According to this report, one of the accused used Poonawalla’s photo in a WhatsApp account and sent messages about transferring money to Satish Deshpande, one of the directors of the firm.
He told that Satish Deshpande considered the messages to be true and transferred Rs 1.01 crore from the funds of the firm to the eight bank accounts mentioned by the accused in the WhatsApp chat.
DSP Samartha Patil said that out of the eight bank accounts belonging to the eight accused seven of these people have been arrested from different states, while a search is on for the main accused.
He further said that they have seized forty accounts in which money was transferred from these eight accounts. The Pune police has so far been able to seize Rs 13 lakh from these accounts.
The accused are said to be the residents of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh and are B. Tech and B.Sc graduates. One of them works in a commercial bank too. But seems like they thought using this education for such a cause was more profitable until of course they got caught.
On the other hand, Adar Poonawalla or his team has not yet said anything on the matter. The Serum Institute of India (SII) is currently working on providing covid-19 serums to children below the age of 18.
For the unversed, last year a panel of Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had reviewed the SII’s application seeking emergency authorisation of Covid 19 vaccine and had sought additional data from the vaccine manufacturing company while noting that the shots had not then been approved in the country of its origin.