The local crime branch of Mira-Bhayandar, Vasai-Virar (MBVV) Tuesday arrested seven persons, including the owner of a private travel agency, for allegedly making forged negative RT-PCR test reports to carry 32 passengers from Maharashtra across the Gujarat border. Mahesh Patil, DCP, crime, MBVV police confirmed the development.
Since April 1, a negative RT-PCR test report for Covid-19 is mandatory for all passengers travelling to Gujarat from Maharashtra.
Acting on a tip off, local crime branch officials stopped the bus around 12.30 am on the national highway near Fountain hotel in Kashimira, while it was heading to the Gujarat border. The bus belonging to Pawan Travels was carrying 32 passengers. On checking their test reports, it was found that 20 of them were carrying fake reports.
The crime branch caught two drivers, two cleaners, two office employees and the owner, Hiteshbhai Patel, of Pawan travels for allegedly making 20 false-negative RT-PCR reports.
Patel wanted to take 32 passengers to Gujarat from Maharashtra in his bus, but the passengers had not got the tests done. So Patel and his employees made the false reports at their office. Patel also collected extra money from the passengers for the reports.
The 20 passengers have also been booked. The FIR was registered for forgery under IPC and for violating Covid 19 guidelines under Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Disease Act.