debanjan deb: Fake IAS officer who pulled off a real vaccine scam

KOLKATA: He never made it into the civil services, but Debanjan Deb told his father he did. IAS officer was among the several hats Deb wore that didn’t belong to him – social worker, actor, filmmaker, manager, entrepreneur. He was the conjurer with a hattery of illusions, the unscrupulous hustler who shapeshifted his way through life with luck and bluster.

Deb, just 28 and with a life to build even if it was entirely out of deception, needed the money. But what really stroked his ego was recognition, a burning desire to be popular. The illusions he built had to be ostentatious – whether it was a story about a film he made being screened at Cannes, driving around in a blue beacon car with a personal security officer or becoming Kolkata’s vaccine frontman.

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