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Kumbh COVID testing scam: ED conducts raids at premises of several private labs

Kumbh COVID testing scam: ED conducts raids at premises of several private labs

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday raided the premises of several pathological labs in Delhi-NCR and Uttarakhand in connection to the "fake Covid testing scam" that surfaced during the Kumbh Mela festival, the agency said on August 6.

"ED has conducted searches at the office and residential premises of Novus Path Labs, DNA Labs, Max Corporate Services, Dr Lal Chandani Labs; and Nalwa Labs at Dehradun, Haridwar, Delhi, Noida and Hisar in connection with fake Covid testing scam during Kumbh Mela at Haridwar," an official statement noted.

An ED official said that the financial probe agency has also registered a case of money laundering on the basis of the FIR registered by Uttarakhand Police.

As per an IANS report, the official said that during the probe, it was found that the labs in question were given the contract by the Uttarakhand government for conducting Rapid Antigen Test/RT-PCR test for Covid testing during the Kumbh Mela 2021.

However, instead of properly carrying out the covid tests, the labs just made fake entries and raised bogus bills for illegal financial gains.

An ED official also said that an amount of Rs 3.4 crore has already been received by them from the Uttarakhand government as part payment.

The official explained the modus operandi used by these labs which involved them in using a single mobile number or false mobile number or single address or same specimen referral form (SRF) for multiple persons for showing the inflated numbers of Covid testing without actually doing the testing.

He said that the probe also revealed that that testing was claimed to be done in the name of the persons, who never visited Kumbh Mela.

"Due to false-negative testing by these labs, positivity rate of Haridwar at that time was shown at 0.18 per cent against the actual 5.3 per cent," the official said, adding that during the searches, the ED has seized incriminating documents, bogus bills, laptops, mobile phones and property documents and cash to the tune of Rs 30.9 lakh.

The official said that the searches are still in progress.

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TAGS:Maha Kumbh MelaCovid19 updatesKumbh Mela 2021Kumbh Mela spread
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