Three men were arrested and a juvenile was apprehended for allegedly duping families of Covid patients on the pretext of delivering oxygen cylinders to them, police said here on Thursday. After a Delhi resident filed a complaint, Balender Chaudhary, Kameshwar Parsad and Gopal were arrested while a juvenile was apprehended following raids in Nalanda and Sheikhpura Sarai in Bihar, they said. The accused are members of an organised syndicate in which each member has a specific task, police said.
The matter came to notice after a resident of Greater Kailash-1 in south Delhi filed a complaint alleging she was duped by a man who introduced himself as Pankaj. He promised to deliver oxygen cylinders for her grandfather who is suffering from Covid, a senior police officer said.
The woman had placed an order for two oxygen cylinders through a number she got on social media and made an online payment of Rs 15,000 as an advance, he said. After she transferred the amount, she did not receive cylinders and the accused also stopped receiving her calls, police said.
We constituted a joint team which conducted technical investigation and got details of the suspects whose mobile number and bank account were found active in Nalanda, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Atul Kumar Thakur said. "A joint team was sent there and the four suspects were identified with the help of local sources and were subsequently taken into police custody," he added.
Elaborating about the modus operandi of the syndicate, the officer said the juvenile arranged bank ATM cards and sold them for Rs 10,000 to Gopal who used to withdraw money.
Balender called people who required oxygen cylinders and Gopal arranged fake SIM cards, the officer said, adding that Parsad sold his bank account and ATM card to be used in the crime for Rs 2,000.
Police have also recovered 15 mobile phones, SIM cards, fake Aadhaar cards, passbook, fake PAN cards, other IDs and Rs 15,675.