Bengaluru, May 13: The Karnataka government on Thursday announced floating a global tender for procuring two crore COVID-19 vaccines owing to supply shortage.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said a Task Force has been set up to oversee the preparation for a probable third wave of COVID-19.

"The state has placed a purchase order for three crore doses of vaccines, two crore doses of Covishield and one crore doses of Covaxin.

We are floating global tenders for an additional two crores," Yediyurappa told reporters here.

He was briefing them about the various measures initiated by his government to deal with the pandemic and improving the health infrastructure in the state.

On the occasion, he said the government was appointing Prof Kang as an adviser on vaccination strategy.

"She Prof Kang is a member of several advisory committees for the World Health Organisation (WHO), mainly related to research and the use of vaccines," he added.

According to Yediyurappa, so far 1.10 crore doses have been supplied by the Centre, of which 99.5 lakh are Covishield vaccines and 10.9 lakh are Covaxin.

He said that 14.87 lakh beneficiaries have completed 6 weeks after taking the first dose of Covishield vaccine and are eligible for second one, whereas 5.10 lakh beneficiaries have completed four weeks after taking the first dose of Covaxin.

Thus, a total of 19.97 lakh people are eligible for second dose as on today.

The state government had on Wednesday announced suspension of the vaccination drive for people between the age group of 18 and 44 years due to the shortage of vaccine.

It said the available stock will be utilised to vaccinate people who are due for second dose.

The Chief Minister also explained the various measures adopted since the outbreak of COVID in the state last year.

He claimed that the recent lockdown-like restrictions brought down the infections in the state from over 50,000 to less than 40,000 now.

To meet the increased oxygen requirement, the government decided to increase the supply of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO), massive scaling of localised generation capacity through oxygen generators and large scale procurement of concentrators and cylinders.

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Bengaluru, Jun 12: Karnataka police on Saturday said they have busted a Rs 290 crore plus scam that involved duping people through a mobile app after promising attractive interest on investment and two Chinese nationals were among the nine arrested.

The scam, aided by shell companies, is linked to money laundering and the suspected kingpin is a Kerala based business man with proximity to Chinese 'hawala' operators, they said.

Cyber Crime Division of CID said it has arrested accused persons, including two Chinese nationals, two Tibetans and five others acting as directors of the companies involved, and a search is on for the rest.

A complaint from Razor pay Software Private Limited said accused persons availed 'payment solutions' from them, claiming that they are in gaming, social and e-commerce businesses.

They, however, defrauded the company by using computer resources and by deviating from their original, registered line of business, the plaint said.

They started routing their transactions to collect payments from a different business named "Powerbank", an app listed in Google Playstore, cyber police said in a release.

Through customer complaints, the complainant company got to know that public invested money in the "Powerbank" app to earn interest on the invested amount.

The accused persons, after accepting the investments, neither gave the agreed interest nor the principal amount and cheated customers.

A case was registered under the Information Technology Act and 420 IPC (Cheating), the CCD said and added that the investigating team were successful in arresting nine men.

During investigation, it was found that Anas Ahmed, a Kerala based businessman, is the main person involved.

"We have also identified that he has very proximate connections with the Chinese hawala operators, which has come to light during the course of the investigation.

He had opened shell companies in the name of Bull Finch Technologies, H & S ventures and Clifford ventures to route the fraud money. Anas Ahamed is married to Chinese national and incidentally he did his studies in China," police said in the release.

Online applications hosted by him were later camouflaged and converted into different apps including Power Bank application, seeking investment from the public and promising good returns, the CCD said.

An unusual spike was seen in investments on the day Anees Ahmed announced much higher returns.

Subsequently, such apps were removed from Google Playstore and other websites and he absconded with the money.

Investigation showed Rs 290 crore inflow into his bank accounts and the CCD was successful in freezing a significant portion of it. There was a huge spike in opening of shell companies since November 2020.

"We have also observed that the Chinese handlers are in possession of a huge number of shell companies and bank accounts. Lured by the offer of the Chinese nationals, many innocent Indians and Tibetans have fallen in their trap to open shell companies and open bank accounts for them."