Five people, including two Union Health Ministry staff, have been arrested for allegedly duping people of ₹15 crore on the pretext of getting them work-related orders for transportation of Covid vaccines to different States, police said on Sunday.
Hermenn Sabherwal, 43, Govind Tulsian, 52, Diprana Tiwari, 32, Trilok Singh, 53, and Mrityunjoy Roy, 44, were nabbed by the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police, they said.
Police said Mr. Singh is employed as a Multi Tasking Staff (MTS) at the Health Ministry on a permanent basis while Mr. Tiwari is also an MTS but on a contract basis.
"Mr. Roy was on deputation with Minister of Home Affairs from SSB and was a reception officer in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare at Nirman Bhawan," a police statement said.
According to the police, a probe was initiated after several complaints were received from a person named Sunil Kaushik and others where the victims alleged that they had been duped of Rs 15 crore on pretext of getting them work orders for transportation of Covid vaccines.
In all the complaints, the victims narrated the same modus operandi, police said.
The police said all the complainants 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, police said.
After preliminary enquiry, the case was registered and investigation was taken up by EOW. A total of six complainants came forward whereas the cheated amount comes out to be ₹15 crore, they said.
Ravindra Singh Yadav, Special Commissioner of Police (Crime) said the investigation revealed that in May last year, the accused came in the contact of the complainants and offered them the Ministry's work order.
To gain the trust of the complainants, the accused also took the victims to the Union Health ministry located inside the Niman Bhavan premises in central Delhi, police said. "The accused also impersonated themselves as officers of Ministry and obtained signatures of the complainants on forged work orders. In lieu of such forged work orders, they obtained ₹15 crore from the complainants," he said.
The officer said the bank accounts and other details of the accused were also scrutinised and analysed which revealed that huge cash deposit in them.
"Harmenn Sabherwal was arrested from Agartala, where he was hiding in a hotel while other accused were arrested from Delhi. The role of other accused is under probe," he added.
Mr. Sabherwal has an MBA degree and was running an HR company in which he suffered losses. Mr. Tulsian was running a stabiliser manufacturing factory, police said.