A gang that allegedly cheated close to a thousand people during the deadly COVID second wave, on the pretext of selling them oxygen cylinders amid a shortage, has been busted by the Delhi Police.
The Delhi Police said on Saturday, 27 November, that they arrested nine people in regards to the case. The police say they made more than Rs 1.5 crore in the last year, Indian Express reported.
The search for the gang began when a man approached the police in May and told them his ordeal.
The man said that his wife was suffering from COVID and other age-related issues and needed an oxygen cylinder for the same. When he found a number on social media, he asked for an oxygen cylinder. However, even after paying Rs 25,000, no cylinder was provided, while his wife died during treatment.
With this, the police registered a case and began tracing the phone number and money trail.
The police was quoted as saying, “Initially, we identified three accused along with details of the bank accounts and phone numbers. They were traced to Bihar and our team arrested them there. We found they are involved in one more case. During investigation and questioning, we found the gang has several modules and arrested six more people from West Bengal and Bihar.”
The accused have been identified as Sarita Devi, Pinki Devi, Amit Roushan, Nitish Kumar, Sanu Nandi, Soumen Mondal, Utpal Ghosal, Pawan, and Kamal Kant. Moreover, a total of nine mobile phones, one laptop, 11 SIM cards and seven ATM cards have been recovered from them, Times of India reported.
DCP (Cyber) KPS Malhotra explained that the gang is divided into six parts:
First, the mastermind who oversaw the functioning of all modules and handled social media
Second, tele callers who posed as vendors
Third, the account handlers who operated the bank accounts and circulated the cheated money
Fourth, the account providers who procured bank accounts from rural areas and gave the details to the handlers
Fifth, the SIM card providers who fraudulently bought multiple SIMs on fake IDs
Sixth, the account holders, mostly people from a poor financial background who provided their details in order to earn some money, without knowing about the scam.
Police further informed that all nine have been booked under IPC sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
(With inputs from The Indian Express and The Times of India.)