After the police opened an investigation into the incident, Dr. Hemant Gupta, one of the suspects in the money laundering investigation involving a Mumbai Covid center, returned Rs. 1 crore to the facility.
According to an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), a doctor at Lifeline Hospital Management Services (LHMS) in Mumbai who was involved in a money laundering case returned Rs 1 crore from his share to the hospital after the police opened an inquiry into the issue last year.
One of the suspects in the money laundering investigation linked to the Covid center case regarding the contract given to LHMS by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was Dr. Hemant Gupta.
Six individuals and LHMS as a whole were named in a chargesheet submitted by the ED last month for fraud and conspiracy. According to the chargesheet, BMC paid out roughly 32 crore rupees for the contracts, with Dr. Gupta receiving a share of 2.85 crore rupees.
According to the ED chargesheet, the six accused obtained from the BMC a contract in August to run Covid mega centers.
One of the four partners in LHMS, which received contracts from the BMC to provide staff for the Covid mega centers at Dahisar and Worli, is Dr. Gupta. Along with Dr. Gupta, two additional civic physicians were listed in the chargesheet.
According to the chargesheet, Dr. Gupta, the primary accused Sujit Patkar, and others obtained the contract for managing the two Jumbo Covid centers but only employed 40% of the necessary staff to carry out their duties.
The investigation agency said that 60% of the workers at Covid centers merely existed on paper and never rendered services, risking the lives of the patients.
According to the ED, the contract was obtained from the BMC unlawfully, and the filed bills included fictitious entries for medical personnel and doctors who either did not exist or never worked at the two Covid jumbo centers.
Due to his experience in the medical industry, Dr. Gupta was designated a partner in LHMS, enabling the company to gain the contract to run Covid jumbo centers using his name.
Dr. Gupta “never rendered his services effectively in running the Covid centers by LHMS,” according to the chargesheet.
The ED chargesheet claimed that instead of taking care to protect the interests of patients in Covid centers, Dr. Gupta “did not bother to safeguard those interests” and instead “allowed all irregularities of under-deployment of the medical staff, for personal financial gains from the proceeds of crime generated by the accused firm through under-deployment of staff.”
Sujit Patkar, the main culprit, had gotten access to Additional Commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal, who was then working for the BMC and holding meetings with Covid jumbo centers, by using the identity of Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut, a close friend of his. Patkar claimed, however, that he did not use Raut’s name to contact Jaiswal.