COVID-19: Delhi Police files over 300 cases of cheating, hoarding
The Delhi Police has filed as many as 303 cases of hoarding, black marketing, and cheating, involving essential drugs and oxygen cylinders, over the past three weeks as the COVID-19 crisis deepened in the national capital and across India. These cases were lodged between April 13 and May 5, according to a report by Hindustan Times. Here are more details on this.
144 alleged black marketers arrested by cops
Of the 303 cases, 225 cases are of cheating while another 78 cases include charges of hoarding and black marketing. A total of 144 alleged black marketers have been arrested by the Delhi Police. Hundreds of crucial injections and oxygen cylinders have also been seized. In connection to these cases, raids are currently being carried out in Bihar and Jharkhand.
450 Remdesivir vials, 242 oxygen cylinders seized
During the raids, 2,822 total units of vital medical equipment have been seized. They include 451 vials of the Remdesivir injection, 242 oxygen cylinders, and 285 oxygen concentrators, and other items, media reports claim. Further, three ambulances have been seized, with their owners or drivers accused of overcharging up to Rs. 1 lakh per trip to the hospital.
Delhi Police Commissioner seeks report on raids
According to HT, Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava on Wednesday spoke with his counterparts in Jharkhand and Bihar, seeking reports on the raids recently conducted in certain parts of the two states.
How are the cheaters duping people?
The cheaters in these states are resorting to overcharging, fake promises, and cyber frauds to dupe people amid the coronavirus crisis. For instance, the Tocilizumab injection, which is used to treat critical COVID-19 patients, is being sold for Rs. 7.5-10 lakh apiece. Separately, some arrested individuals are accused of creating a fake website similar to that of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Earlier, a dozen were arrested on similar charges
Last month, a man was arrested by the Delhi Police for illegally storing some 48 oxygen cylinders at his house in the city's Dashrathpuri area. Earlier this week, the Delhi Police reportedly held at least 13 people involved in the illegal hoarding and selling of Remdesivir injections, oxygen cylinders, and concentrators in several parts of the capital city.
Delhi Police launches helpline to report such acts
The Delhi Police had last week said that the COVID-19 helpline launched by them is addressing calls and complaints regarding all such illegal activities. The number is 011-23469900. The helpline receives more than 500 calls every day, reports said.
The COVID-19 situation in India
India has been gripped by a dreadful second wave of the coronavirus pandemic amid acute shortages of hospital beds, ambulances, medical oxygen, and even drugs and injections. People across the country are forced to overpay for these necessities or buy them from the black market. In the last 24 hours, India logged 4.12 lakh new cases - the highest-ever one-day surge for any country.