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Remdesivir bought at inflated rates: EOW books BMC officers, contractor | Mumbai News

The Economic Offences Wing of Mumbai Police has registered an FIR in connection with the irregularities in purchase of Remdesivir injections at inflated rates. Officials from the central purchase department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the contractor who supplied the injections have been booked on fraud charges.

The FIR mentioned a fraud of Rs 5.96 crore which may go up during the course of investigation. A senior EOW official confirmed the development.

The case was registered at Aagripada police station Friday night and was transferred to EOW for further investigation. The EOW will also see if the financial irregularities are linked to any political leader or their frontmen.

EOW Sales Tax unit’s officer Nitin Unavane is the complainant in the case.

A senior EOW officer confirmed that unidentified officials from BMC’s Central purchase department and directors of firm Mylan Laboratories have been booked under sections 406, 409, 420 120, 34 of the Indian Penal Code.

Festive offer

During the Covid period, Remdesivir injection which was priced at Rs 650 per vial was purchased for Rs 1,568. As many as 65,000 such injections were purchased on inflated rates.

“We will soon summon the BMC officials concerned for questioning,” said an EOW officer.

No documents

Mylan Laboratories was awarded the contract to supply 28,000 vials of Remdesivir. The contract was awarded by the Municipal Corporation on April 7, 2021. Mylan Laboratory had bid for it at Rs 650.75 per vial. Only 19,000 vials have been provided. But no records were found regarding the supply of the remaining 9,000 vials, the complaint states. Subsequently, the same company was awarded the contract at Rs 1,568 per vial.

The financial irregularities in the purchase of Remdesivir injections surfaced when the Enforcement Directorate was carrying out thorough investigation in connection with the money laundering in BMC’s in their spending in the operations of Covid jumbo centres. The ED then wrote to EOW highlighting the gross irregularities. Following this, preliminary enquiries were initiated to look into this. After the PE concluded that a congnizable offence was committed, an FIR was lodged.

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The ED may soon register an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) in the matter to probe the money laundering in the said irregularities involving purchase of Remdesivir injections on inflated rates, sources said.

As per BJP leader Kirit Somaiya’s allegations, a few weeks ago, he has made a complaint to ED, EOW and income tax about 10,000 Remdesivir injections going missing.
Somaiya claimed that Remdesivir injections were purchased by the BMC’s purchase department in a very non-transparent manner.

He further alleged that the injections worth crores of rupees were purchased but there is no record maintained by BMC on which hospitals these injections were distributed, to whom the injections were administered, etc

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