Four held from Bihar for duping Serum Institute of India of Rs 1 crore

They allegedly sent messages to a company director posing as Adar Poonawala and asking for the money to be transferred to them online

Four held from Bihar for duping Serum Institute of India of Rs 1 crore

Nadeem Inamdar

The Pune police has arrested four Bihar-based persons for allegedly cheating Adar Poonawalla-run Serum Institute of India of over Rs 1 crore in September, 2022.

The accused had sent WhatsApp messages to one of the company's directors by posing as Poonawalla.

The accused have been identified as Rajivkumar Shivaji Prasad, Chandrabhushan Anand Singh, Kanhayya Kumar Sambho Mahto and Ravindra Hubnath Patel. 

SII, which has a plant near Pune, produces the Covishield vaccine against coronavirus among other vaccines.

Bund Garden police station in-charge Pratap Mankar said, “We have nabbed four persons in this regard and are looking for the main accused. The investigation is at a preliminary stage and more can't be said at this time.”

Satish Deshpande, one of the directors of the SII, in his complaint to the police, had stated that he had received WhatsApp messages from one of the accused posing as Adar Poonawalla.

The sender asked Deshpande to transfer money to some bank accounts on an immediate basis. Trusting that it was the CEO who had messaged him, company officials quickly transferred ₹1,01,01,554 online. They later realised that Poonawalla's cellphone number had been hacked, the complaint stated.

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