Two arrested for forging RT-PCR reports in Wakad
The Pimpri-Chinchwad police arrested two men and are on the lookout for two others for forging at least 28 RT-PCR test reports of people who were travelling from the bus stop along the Mumbai-Bengaluru highway in Wakad.
The two men were identified as Pattaram Kesaramji Devasi (33), a resident of Bhagwanagar in Wakad; Rakeshkumar Bastiram Vaishnav (25), a resident of Dhankawadi in Pune. These two are travel agents who provide bus tickets near the Shani temple along the highway.
“They charged ₹600 per test. We sent a decoy and they asked him to provide his Aadhaar after which he got an RT-PCR report within 15 minutes on his WhatsApp. While most of the reports were from Lifenity Wellness labs, there were some reports found on the phone of Vaishnav from GenePeth,” said assistant police inspector Sagar Kate of Pimpri-Chinchwad police.
While the two have been remanded to two days in police custody, the police are on the lookout for two others who are suspected to have conducted the forgery part and sent soft copies of forged reports through WhatsApp.
The tests were never conducted, and the logo of the laboratories was misused, according to the police and the labs. This is the second such case that has been brought to light in the past three days in Pune.
The police are now investigating how long these men had been indulging in the forgery.
On Sunday, the Pune city police had also arrested two technicians who were found to have forged reports of GenePath labs located on JM Road.
“Our each and every report is secured by two different encrypted QR code algorithms, by scanning this QR code patient name and our lab name appears. Also, we received a call from Hinjewadi police station for the same. We found those reports were fake without QR code and were not provided by our lab and the same has been informed to police authorities,” said Mahesh Nade, operation manager of Lifenity lab in Pune.
A case under Sections 336, 419, 420, 465, 468, 471, 269, 270, and 34 of the Indian Penal Code along with Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and Section 11 of the Maharashtra Covid-19 Prevention Regulations, 2020 was registered at Hinjewadi police station.
Police sub inspector Yashwant Salunkhe will be investigating the case.