Amid coronavirus spread and lack of ample medical facilities in National Capital Delhi, Covid-19 scammers are minting money. Delhi police have arrested a man identified as Abdul Karim Rana(22) for duping Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel. Abdul Karim had allegedly posed as a plasma donor and took money from the patient’s family to reach the hospital.
Abdul Karim posed as ‘Rahul Thakur’
According to the complaint registered with the Delhi police, Goel’s nephew’s father-in-law was tested positive for coronavirus and was seeking a plasma donor for the treatment. He posted a request on the social media platform and got a call from Karim, who posed as ‘Rahul Thakur‘, a doctor, as per a report in News 18.
As per Goel’s complaint, Karim introduced himself as a doctor at a government hospital and stated he recently recovered from the infection. By that time, Goel’s nephew had already arranged a donor, so his help was not required. On 19h June, his nephew again posted a request online when another acquaintance of Goel needed plasma therapy. Thakkar called him and showed his willingness to donate plasma. He asked for Rs.450 for travel expenses, which Goel’s nephew had transferred immediately.
FIR registered under section 420
Later, the accused said he did not get the money and asked Delhi Assembly Speaker to transfer it again. When they tried calling Karim, his phone was unreachable. On contacting the patient’s family, they found out that Karim took money from them as well. Monika Bhardwaj, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North), said that they had registered an FIR under section 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code against Karim at the Civil Lines Police Station. He was arrested on Saturday.
The DCP said, “During interrogation, the accused disclosed that he cheated people on the pretext of donating blood plasma amid the pandemic outbreak. He introduced himself as a doctor to COVID-19 patients, pretended to be a plasma donor and asked for money in the guise of travelling expenses to reach the hospital where patients were admitted.”
Increase in Covid-19 related scams
Police have asked everyone to be cautious and take help only from those who are known to the family. As per the reports, there has been an increase in Covid-19 related scams and vulnerable families of patients are falling prey in the hands of the criminals. MS Randhawa, Delhi Police spokesperson, said, “Everyone needs to be cautious. Any posts on social media to seek help might attract criminals or fraudsters to earn easy money. Better to take help from someone known.”
The mobile phone Karim used to contact the patients’ families has been seized. This is not the first time Abdul Karim Rana stood on the wrong side of the law. According to police officials, there is another ongoing case of cheating against him registered at the Hauz Khas Police Station.
Alarming increase in Covid-19 cases in Delhi
In the last few days, the number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi has increased at an alarming pace. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Delhi has reported 62,655 cases to date, out of which 23,820 are still active. 2,233 people have lost their lives due to Covid-19 related complications. There have been allegations that the Delhi government was hiding the exact number of cases and deaths. Recently, Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with Delhi Government to pace up arrangements for Covid-19 cases. Supreme Court also slammed the Delhi government for mismanagement. MLAs, including Atishi and Satyendar Jain, also tested positive for coronavirus and undergoing treatment.