Sunday September 26, 2021

Court seeks charge-sheet in vaccine theft case

August 01, 2021

KARACHI: A city court on Saturday sought a charge sheet from police against three suspects allegedly involved in selling stolen Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines to the public.

The judicial magistrate South ordered the investigation officer of the case to submit a challan against retired Major Amanullah Sultan, Muhammad Ali and Muhammad Zeeshan within two weeks. The magistrate sent the suspects to jail on judicial remand.

At the outset of the hearing, the IO presented the suspects along with a progress report. The report read that a government vaccinator Zeeshan provided the stolen vaccines to the other two suspects which they illegally administered to the public.

According to the prosecution, Sultan owned a healthcare company which provided Pfizer vaccines to the public at a price of Rs15,000 per dose. He was nabbed after his employee Ali was arrested in a sting operation by the health and police authorities in the Saddar area.

It report read that police also seized a box of syringes, vials and specimen collection swabs along with empty vaccination cards of the Sindh health department from Ali’s possession and arrested Zeeshan on a lead provided by him.

Initial investigation found that the vaccines were stolen from a District East vaccination centre where Zeeshan worked. It is believed that the suspects had sold them to at least 60 people in the city.

The FIR was registered on the complaint of South Drug Inspector Ghulam Ali who said he had reliable information about a company involved in stealing Pfizer vaccines from the government and selling them to the public.

The drug inspector contacted Ali and agreed to purchase a Pfizer vaccine from him in a meeting at a restaurant on July 25 in Saddar where police nabbed the suspect.

The case has been registered under sections 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code, and the Section 30 of the Drug Act.