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Police detain 5 for Covid-19 testing fraud

  • Published at 12:20 am June 24th, 2020

The group collected samples from people who wished to be tested for Covid-19, and then send them a false report for a large fee, police said

Police have detained five people for their alleged involvement in a Covid-19 testing scam.

The group would collect samples from people who wished to be tested for Covid-19 and then send them a false report for a fee, police said.  

The five were detained from the Ashkona and Gulshan areas of Dhaka on Tuesday. 

They have been identified as former nurse Tanzina Patwari, her husband Humayun Kabir, her former boss Ariful Chowdhury, CEO of private healthcare organization JKG Health Care, and two of his employees. 

Police recovered a laptop, computer, PPE, mask, gloves, test tubes and materials for collecting swabs. 

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Deputy Commissioner (Tejgaon division) Harun-ur-Rashid said: “Tanzina used to be a nurse. She used to work at JKG Health Care, where they have approval from the IEDCR for collection of coronavirus patient samples. However, she left the job in April and started collecting coronavirus samples and giving false reports with her husband Humayun. Later, we detained another three along with JKG Health Care CEO Ariful.” 

DMP Assistant Commissioner (Tejgaon zone) Mahmud Khan said Tanzina and her husband Humayun collected samples in the name of “Booking BD and Health Care.” They would then send a report they had falsified based on their observations of the patients via email, as they did not have an rt-PCR machine to actually test the samples.

The suspects would charge a minimum of Tk5,000 for the collection of each sample, and $100 per sample from expatriates. The group had sent unverified results to at least 37 people.

“Some of the victims complained to the police after being deceived by them. We began inquiries over the allegation and detained Tanzina and Humayun first from Ashkona, then the others from the information they gave,” the assistant commissioner added. 

He further said the matter was still being investigated.