Cylinders sold on the black market: pair held
DELHI Police said two paramedics were arrested for their alleged involvement in the black market sale of oxygen cylinders.
Police also recovered Rs 1 lakh (100 000 rupees, just over R19 000) from them.
Atul Kumar Thakur, deputy commissioner of police, said police received a call on May 6 about oxygen cylinders being sold at exorbitant prices.
Police contacted the complainant, who said a person posted a message on social media, regarding the supply of oxygen cylinders for patients suffering from Covid-19.
“However, when she contacted the number, the person demanded Rs 90 000 (just over R17 000) for a 50-litre oxygen cylinder,” Thakur said.
A first incident report was registered and a team set up to arrest the culprits.
Thakur said technical surveillance was mounted and local intelligence were brought into the investigation.
“After sincere efforts, Pawan, 21, a resident of Dakshinpuri, was apprehended and a cellphone found in his possession,” Thakur said, adding that Pawan initially denied his involvement in any dealing in oxygen cylinders.
But, during interrogation, he revealed that for the past two years he had been working as a paramedic.
“The medical background of Pawan raised alarm in the minds of the investigation team, and the team got suspicious. Pawan’s cellphone was scanned and various clues discovered.
“It was found that many people had contacted Pawan, especially on his WhatsApp, for oxygen cylinders and that he was charging Rs 40 000 (more than R7 600) for a 15-litre cylinder and Rs 90 000 (just over R17 000) for 50-litre cylinders,” he said.
Thakur said police checked Pawan’s Paytm app (a payment application) and found he had received a huge amount of money on his Paytm account, which was then transferred to his savings account, and finally withdrawn by him.
Explaining the modus operandi, Thakur said: “Pawan is a trained paramedic. The oxygen cylinders were being issued to ambulances for transporting critically ill-patients.
He managed to get his cellphone number publicised on Instagram to supply oxygen cylinders.
He started misappropriating oxygen cylinders being issued for ambulances.
“He used to receive the amount on his Paytm account, which was transferred to his two saving accounts and later the amount was withdrawn,” he said.
Thakur said Pawan was helped by Vipin Nagar and Rohit Nagar, paramedics at different stations, who were allegedly involved in arranging oxygen cylinders. During the investigation, a raid was conducted at Pawan’s warehouse.
Two oxygen cylinders (one 50-litre and one 15-litre), 32 PPE kits, and Rs 1 lakh in cash was recovered from his house. Nagar was also arrested. |