Delhi Police on Monday said that it has arrested two CATS paramedics who were allegedly involved in black marketing of oxygen cylinders and also recovered Rs 1 lakh from them.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Atul Kumar Thakur said that police received a PCR call on May 6 wherein the caller Suman stated that the oxygen cylinders were being sold at exorbitant prices.
The police then contacted the complainant, who stated that a person posted a message on social media regarding supply of oxygen cylinders for patient suffering from Covid-19.
“However, when she contacted the number, the person demanded Rs 90,000 for a 50 litre oxygen cylinder,” Thakur said.
An FIR was registered and a team was formed to arrest the culprits.
Thakur said that since the police team had only one phone number on which the complainant had contacted, technical surveillance was mounted and also local intelligence was developed.
“After sincere efforts one Pawan, 21, a resident of Dakshinpuri was apprehended and a mobile phone was recovered from his possession,” the DCP said, adding that Pawan initially denied his involvement in any kind of dealing in oxygen cylinders but when the team strongly interrogated he revealed that for the past two years he is working as paramedics with CATS Ambulance services.
“The medical background of Pawan raised an alarm in the minds of the investigation team, as a result the team got suspicious. The mobile phone of Pawan was scanned by the investigation team and various clues were discovered. It was found that many people had contacted Pawan specially on his WhatsApp for oxygen cylinders and that he was charging Rs 40,000 for 15 litre cylinder and Rs 90,000 for 50 litre cylinders,” he said.
He further said that the police then checked Pawan’s Paytm app and found that he had received huge amount of money on his Paytm account which was then transferred to his saving a/c and was finally withdrawn by him.
Explaining the modus operandi, Thakur said, “Pawan is a trained para-medic and works with CATS Ambulance. The oxygen cylinders were being issued to ambulances for transporting critically ill-patients. He managed to get his mobile number publicised on Instagram for supply of oxygen cylinder and soon he started receiving demand for the same, and he started mis-appropriating oxygen cylinders that were being issued for ambulances.
“He used to receive the amount on his Paytm account which was further transferred to his two saving accounts in Axis bank and PNB bank and later the amount was withdrawn,” he said.
Thakur also said that Pawan was being helped by Vipin Nagar and Rohit Nagar who are also para-medics and pilot in different “CATS station in arranging oxygen cylinders.
The DCP said that during investigation a raid was conducted at the warehouse of accused Pawan and two oxygen cylinders (one 50 litres and one 15 litres), 32 PPE kits, cash of Rs 1 lakh was recovered from his house.
The police arrested Vipin Nagar, also a para medic of CATS.