Debanjan Deb, who had allegedly posed as an IAS officer and organised a fake Covid vaccination camp in 2021, has been named as an accused in a chargesheet submitted by the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday.
The central agency has slapped charges of money laundering on Debanjan and cousin Kanchan Deb.
Abhijit Bhadra, a special public prosecutor who is representing ED, said Debanjan and Kanchan had been charge-sheeted under Sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. If convicted, the two could be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for seven years and fined Rs 5 lakh each.
The chargesheet, submitted in the Special CBI Court-I, says: “Debanjan Deb while impersonating an IAS officer and Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Municipal Corporation and Kanchan Deb working under the direction of Debanjan Deb have cheated the general public, unemployed persons and business entities and illegally amassed proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs. 3,03,23,987.”
Debanjan, in his early 30s, had organised a Covid vaccination camp in June 2021 in Kasba, where fake shots were allegedly administered. Among those who were given shots were Trinamul MP Mimi Chakraborty, who was invited to the camp by Debanjan.
The MP became suspicious as she did not get any message or certificate for vaccination from CoWIN after getting the shot. She lodged a police complaint, following which Deb was arrested.
Kolkata police have already submitted a chargesheet against Deb and seven others, charging them with attempt to murder, cheating, forgery, impersonation and disobeying government officials.
ED’s chargesheet says: “Debanjan Deb entered into a criminal conspiracy and impersonated himself as ‘Joint Municipal Commissioner of Kolkata Municipal Corporation’ by fraudulently and dishonestly using fake documents, seals, stamps etc. cheating and criminal conspiracy. He defrauded/looted innocent job seekers with the false promise of jobs, duped material suppliers and contractors by making them supply Covid relief material without paying for the same....”
“He also organised mass fake Covid-19 vaccination camps. During the search of his house by Kolkata police, a large number of vials of Amikacin injection and fake labels of Covishield were found, which implies that the vaccine administered to the general public at his vaccine camps was fake. He sold and administered fake vaccines with the sole aim to make money.”
Kanchan allegedly took cash from job seekers on Debanjan’s behalf. “One of the persons named in a diary maintained by Kanchan Deb is Rabin Sikdar, who has confirmed having paid Rs 5.5 lakh to Kanchan to get a job in the Kasba office of Debanjan,” the officer said.
ED officers said Kanchan spent the money he had received from Debanjan to buy a flat in Naktala on the city’s southern fringes. Both accused are in judicial custody.