New Delhi: A stock of 170 oxygen concentrators has been seized from a gang that was allegedly selling these life-saving machines at exorbitant prices to desperate relatives of Covid patients. The north Delhi police has also arrested four persons.
The police are going to suggest to court possible use of the seized machines. The cops are trying to work around some legal hurdles regarding use of seized case properties.
The gang was busted after a person complained about the racket on Twitter. The victim tweeted that oxygen concentrators were being sold for Rs 95,000 at Mittal’s Store in Shastri Nagar and also provided a mobile phone number.
“Keeping in view the gravity of allegations and sensitivity of the matter, an enquiry was conducted and teams of North district police were directed to conduct a discreet probe,” DCP (north) Anto Alphonse said.
A technical investigation of the given mobile number revealed that it was registered in the name of a woman who stayed in Shastri Nagar. At the given address, a shop, named Narang Sons, Roby Hosiery, was found on the ground floor of a residential complex.
A team comprising ACP Umashankar, sub-inspector Rajpal and others conducted a recce and deployed informers. The alleged number was constantly found in various locations and the owner was avoiding any contact. The team raided many places and finally caught one Pawan Mittal after two days’ efforts. Two oxygen concentrators along with adapters were seized.
Mittal admitted that to make most of the Covid crisis, he had started selling oxygen concentrators for Rs 90,000 to Rs 1.10 lakh, more than double the cost price. He had bought the machines from one Himanshu Khurana, who runs a shop, Dhingra Bags, at Sadar Bazar.
Following his leads, co-accused Khurana was apprehended who said he had bought machines from Himanshu and Ayush Handa, who were distributors indulging in blackmarketing.
Immediately, inspector Sunil and his team were involved and a raid was conducted. Both suspects, who are brothers and live in Model Town, were arrested and 168 oxygen concentrators and adapters were seized from an under-construction building. An Audi car owned by Handa Telecom and a Mercedes car owned by Ayush were also seized.
An FIR under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code and Epidemic Diseases Act has been registered. The accused are being questioned to determine the number of oxygen concentrators they had sold.
“Strict action is being taken against blackmarketers who are trying to make quick money by hoarding live-saving drugs/equipment and selling them at high prices. Regular checks and raids are being conducted on every complaint,” the DCP said.