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Travel agent caught selling fake COVID-19 reports

He offered them to people who wished to travel

The Upparpet police arrested a 35-year-old travel agent for allegedly selling fake COVID-19 certificates to people wishing to travel outside Karnataka. Acting on a tip-off, a team of police led by Inspector C.B. Shvaswamy raided a shop in Manivartapete and arrested the travel agent Sampat Lal.

During the raid, they recovered a letterhead of a private diagnostic centre and three COVID-19 negative test reports that appeared to be signed by doctors.

Sanjeev Patil, DCP, (West), said that the accused was charging anywhere between ₹3,000 and ₹4,000 for each report. “He managed to create several such documents, which he sold to people travelling to Rajasthan and West Bengal. We will be alerting our counterparts in the two States to identify the buyers of these documents for further action,” Mr. Patil said.

The police have booked Sampat Lal under the Disaster Management Act and also for fraud, forgery and cheating. “We are on the lookout for his associate Mukesh Paramar who is on the run,” said a senior police officer.

The police are probing the role of the diagnostic centre and the doctors whose signatures were found on the seized documents. “Sampat Lal has been taken into custody to ascertain if any doctor or the diagnostic centre had any role in this racket,” Mr. Patil added.

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