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Fraud By Covid Labs Led To Positivity Error During Kumbh Mela In Uttarakhand, Says Enforcement Directorate

The labs were given a contract by Uttarakhand for Covid testing during Kumbh Mela

Highlights

  • ED today raided homes and offices of executives of 5 diagnostic firms
  • These labs were given a contract to conduct Covid tests during Kumbh Mela
  • They allegedly made fake entries for Covid testing and raised bogus bills

New Delhi:

The Enforcement Directorate on Friday searched the homes and offices of the top executives of five diagnostics firms for alleged money laundering in connection with a fake COVID-19 testing scam during the Kumbh Mela in Uttarakhand.

The Enforcement Directorate started investigation after a case was filed by the Uttarakhand Police. These labs were given a contract by Uttarakhand government for conducting rapid antigen test and RT-PCR test during the Kumbh Mela. They allegedly did not carry out the required number of tests, but made fake entries for Covid testing and raised bogus bills.

Explaining how these labs allegedly ran the fraud, the Enforcement Directorate said they used a single mobile number, address and form for several people and inflated the number of Covid testing without actually testing anyone.

Some of the names in the Covid testing record have not even visited the Kumbh Mela, the probe agency said.

Due to false negative testing by these labs, the positivity rate in Haridwar at that time was shown at 0.18 per cent, while the actual was 5.3 per cent.

The Enforcement Directorate said it has seized incriminating documents, bogus bills, laptops, mobile phones and property documents.

The companies raided by the probe agency are Novus Path Labs, DNA Labs, Max Corporate Services, Dr Lal Chandani Labs and Nalwa Laboratories. The homes of their top executives in Dehradun, Haridwar, Delhi, Noida and Hisar were searched, the probe agency said in a statement.

The state government has already given them a part payment of Rs 3.4 crore, the probe agency said in the statement.

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