Home / News / India /  Pune cops nabs 7 fraudsters who duped SII of 1.1 cr by posing as Adar Poonawalla

In September this year, vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) was duped of more than 1 crore when fraudsters sent the company messages in the name of their Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla and asking for transfer of money.

On Friday Pune Police announced a major breakthrough where they have been able to arrest seven of the accused in the cheating case. 

As per the complaint registered with the Pune Police, Satish Deshpande, one of the directors at the SII had received a message on WhatsApp from a person posing as SII CEO Adar Poonawalla and was asked to send money into seven different accounts in September 2022.

The sender asked Deshpande to transfer money to certain bank accounts immediately, said the complaint filed by the finance manager of the firm. Believing the message was from Poonawalla, Deshpande transferred transferred 1,01,01,554 online into those accounts, only to realise later that the company had been duped.

A complaint in this regard was registered and during the investigation, police zeroed in on the eight accounts to which the money was transferred.

"It has been revealed the money was transferred into the accounts of these seven people who have now been arrested from different parts of the country. However, the main accused is still absconding" said Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Smartana Patil (Zone II).

She added that they had seized all these accounts and 40 others in which the funds were further transferred from these eight accounts.

"We have also frozen 13 lakh in these accounts," she said.

The Cyber Unit of Pune City police on Friday arrested 3 accused involved in the case. "The Cyber Unit of Pune City police has arrested 3 accused involved in the case relating to cheating Serum Institute of India posing as CEO Adar Poonawalla. A total of 7 accused arrested till now. The main accused remains absconding," said the police.

The Serum Institute of India, is an Indian biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals company which has a plant near Pune. The company produces the Covishield vaccine used against coronavirus among other vaccines.

Further details in this development are awaited

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