Maha: Fake COVID-19 report racket run by bus operators busted

Thane: A racket involving the creation of fake COVID-19 test certificates by the staff of a bus agency to allow people to travel to Gujarat amid coronavirus-induced restrictions was busted in the early hours of Tuesday, leading to the arrest of 31 passengers, a driver and a cleaner, Mira- Bhayander-Vasai-Virar (MBVV) police said.

Acting on a tip off, a Crime Branch team carried out a check of a bus on Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway near Bhayander creek at around 1am, said an official.

“Bogus certificates for 33 people, comprising 31 passengers as well as the bus’ driver and cleaner, had been prepared, reportedly at a cost of Rs 300 each. All 33 people in whose names the certificates had been made have been arrested,” said Crime Branch Inspector Aviraj Kurhade said.

The FIR, dealing with forgery and Disaster Management and Epidemic Diseases Act, also names the owner and manager of two private bus transport firms and action would be taken against them as well, he added.