Fraudsters pose as CEO Adar Poonawalla, dupe SII of Rs 1 cr

Serum Institute of India (SII) was duped of more than Rs. 1 crore after fraudsters sent the company messages posing as their CEO Adar Poonawalla.

According to Pune Police, the fraudsters sent messages to the company in the name of their Chief Executive Officer, asking for transfer of money.

The fraud took place in the afternoons of Wednesday and Thursday, said an official of Bundgarden police station.

Senior inspector Pratap Mankar said that an FIR was registered for cheating and offences under the IT Act against the unidentified persons.

According to the complaint filed by the finance manager of the firm, Satish Deshpande- one of the directors of the SII, received WhatsApp messages from Adar Poonawalla (the person who posed as the CEO) asking to transfer money to certain bank accounts immediately.

Reportedly, Deshpande believed that it was indeed Poonawalla who sent the text and transferred Rs. 1,01,01,554 to the given bank account through online banking. Further investigation on this matter is underway, said inspector Mankar.

The FIR was registered under the IPC sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 34 (common intention) and sections under the Information Technology Act, said Pune Police.

The officials further said that the accused who sent the WhatsApp messages and the one who holds the bank account into which the transfer was made, is yet to be identified and arrested.

Notably, SII, is an Indian biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals company responsible for producing the Covishield vaccine used against coronavirus among other vaccines.

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