Covid centres case: Accused made ₹21 crore, bribed BMC officials with gold biscuits: ED | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Covid centres case: Accused made 21 crore, bribed BMC officials with gold biscuits: ED

Sep 30, 2023 08:46 AM IST

The ED had on September 15 submitted a chargesheet against Patkar and his other partners Hemant Gupta, Sanjay Shah and Rajiv Salunkhe. The chargesheet also includes BMC health official Dr Kishore Bisure and Dr Arvind Singh, dean and centre head respectively of the Dahisar Jumbo Covid Centre

MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED)’s chargesheet on alleged irregularities in the BMC’s Covid-19 expenditure has revealed that Sujit Patkar, a family friend of Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut, and other partners of Lifeline Hospital Management Services (LHMS), paid bribes to civic officials in the form of gold biscuits purchased from the proceeds of crime (PoC).

Mumbai, India – July 20, 2023: ED has arrested 2 people in the BMC Covid Center scam case. Sujit Patkar ( White Shirt) , a close aide of Sanjay Raut and one Dr Kishor Bisure have been arrested, in Mumbai, India, on Friday, July 20, 2023. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)
Mumbai, India – July 20, 2023: ED has arrested 2 people in the BMC Covid Center scam case. Sujit Patkar ( White Shirt) , a close aide of Sanjay Raut and one Dr Kishor Bisure have been arrested, in Mumbai, India, on Friday, July 20, 2023. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)

The ED had on September 15 submitted a chargesheet against Patkar and his other partners Hemant Gupta, Sanjay Shah and Rajiv Salunkhe. The chargesheet also includes BMC health official Dr Kishore Bisure and Dr Arvind Singh, dean and centre head respectively of the Dahisar Jumbo Covid Centre.

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The chargesheet says that Shah purchased gold biscuits and bars worth around 60 lakh through his various bank accounts. “These were distributed among BMC officials and highly influential persons who played their respective roles in the generation of PoC,” it states, adding that 15 lakh in cash was also distributed to the BMC staff through Sujit Patkar.

According to the ED, Patkar closely monitored the regular payments, visiting Dr Bisure at KEM Hospital to confirm their receipt. Bisure himself, who was stationed at the Dahisar Covid Centre from July to December 2020, allegedly received around 20 lakh in cash and valuables, including a laptop.

The ED probe revealed that LHMS submitted 82 invoices/bills for its Covid centres (63 for Dahisar and 19 for NSCI Worli) to the BMC, amounting to 32,76,33,861.50 for services rendered from July 2020 to February 2022. After deducting a penalty of 31,47,076.6 for mismanagement, the BMC cleared invoices for 32,44,86,784.91.

The agency claimed that the firm had obtained contracts by submitting false documents. “Despite getting the contract fraudulently, they continued to indulge in criminal activities by not maintaining proper manpower at both Covid facilities and thereby risking the lives of vulnerable Covid patients,” says the chargesheet. “They have fudged records, created fake and fabricated attendance shoots and fictitious staff records to get excess wrongful and illegitimate claims from the BMC.”

The ED said that the excess claims added up to 73.5 percent for ICU beds, 47.25 percent for oxygenated beds and 100 percent for non-oxygenated beds. It claimed that LMHS received 18,50,01,191.7 in excess for the Dahisar Covid facility and 2.57 crore in excess for the NSCI Worli Covid facility. After the computation, the ED claimed that the company gained 21.07 crore illegally.

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