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Scamster posing as CEO Adar Poonawalla cheats Serum Institute of over Rs 1 crore

Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer of the Serum Institute of India

Vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) has been cheated of more than Rs 1 crore by a fraudster who sent the company messages in the name of their CEO Adar Poonawalla asking for money to be transferred to certain bank accounts, the Pune police has confirmed.

A police case has been filed against some unidentified persons for cheating the Serum Institute of India (SII), officials said.

An amount of over Rs. 1.1 crore was transferred by one of the directors, Satish Deshpande. The scamsters posed as Poonawalla and sent WhatsApp messages to Deshpande and asked him to transfer money to various bank accounts immediately.

Deshpande thought that the messages were from Adar Poonawalla and had more than Rs. 1,01, 01,554 crore transferred to those accounts by the finance department in different transactions. It was only later that they realised that SII was duped.

“After finding out that Adar Poonawalla had never asked for such transfers or sent messages to the Finance Manager of SII made a written complaint in Bundgarden police station and later, police registered an FIR under the section of IPC 419, 420,34 and IT Act for probing the case further,” a police official said.

The transactions were made on September 7 and 8.

Further investigations are underway and the police have launched a hunt for the person who sent the messages and also his accomplice in whose accounts the money has gone.