The Delhi police on Monday has issued a lookout notice for absconding Delhi restaurateur Navneet Kalra. Kalra, who is accused in the Khan market oxygen concentrators black-marketing racket, has been on the run ever since Delhi police raided his chain of upscale restaurants in posh localities of Delhi and farmhouse and recovered over 500 oxygen concentrators.
Navneet Kalra had switched off his mobile phone as soon as the raids on his Delhi restaurants were conducted. However, in order to get information about Navneet Kalra and track his location, the Delhi police have put his mobile number on surveillance.
According to the latest information, Navneet Kalra has filed an anticipatory bail plea at a Saket court in Delhi. As per the latest reports, the court has refused to grant any interim relief to Kalra.
Navneet Kalra fled his Chattarpur farmhouse before Delhi police reached there
Based on the information on his last location, Delhi police had raided Kalra’s Chattarpur farmhouse on Saturday night to nab him. But reports have it that the Delhi restaurateur left the farmhouse with family on Saturday night minutes before Delhi Police conducted the raid. The guard of the guesthouse was quoted by India Today as saying: “10 to 12 teams of Delhi Police had arrived, Sahab (Navneet Kalra) had left the farmhouse late night along with his family in his car, without the driver.”
As per reports, the police have searched for him in several areas of UP, and Uttarakhand, without success.
Kalra ‘imported’ 7500 oxygen concentrators worth Rs 13 crores
The initial probe has revealed that Navneet Kalra and his aide from Matrix Cellular Services Ltd, which is one of the companies involved in the racket, had procured as many as 7500 oxygen concentrators worth Rs 13 crores, between April 17 and May 3, 2021.
A report by TOI says that around 5,200 units of the concentrators were apparently delivered by Kalra and his team whereas 1,858 units were sold in the first three-four days of May.
“We are still going through the documents, but most of these concentrators, it seems clear, were bought at a rate of Rs 14,000-18,000. There are three consignments that were bought for around Rs 23,000 to Rs 24,000 each, said a senior police officer to TOI. According to DCP (South) Anil Thakur the invoices recovered showed that the accused sold the concentrators at an exorbitant cost of Rs 70,000.
Navneet Kalra’s purported audio clip goes viral
On May 8 (Saturday), a day after Delhi Police carried out raids on three restaurants and recovered 524 oxygen concentrators, they accessed an audio clip where businessman Navneet Kalra, the owner of all three restaurants, could be allegedly heard marketing and discussing the allotment of the oxygen concentrators.
Delhi Police raids Navneet Kalra’s restaurant in Khan Market
It is pertinent to note that Delhi Police on May 7 (Friday), recovered 105 oxygen concentrators during the raids at two restaurants – Khan Chacha and Town Hall, situated in Delhi’s Khan Market. On May 6, Delhi Police had also recovered 419 oxygen concentrators from a restaurant-cum-bar in south Delhi’s Lodhi Colony area.
Navneet Kalra is the owner of all three restaurants. Following the raids, Kalra switched off his mobile phone and believed to have fled the city. It is important to note that Navneet Kalra was felicitated by the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government in 2020. He was among the 48 personalities honoured as ‘Delhi ke Nirmata’ by the AAP government after returning to power.
According to the police, Kalra took orders for oxygen concentrators via an online portal as well as through WhatsApp groups. The accused has been importing the oxygen concentrators since October last year. As demands for Oxygen concentrators increased in February this year, he imported more such machines and stored them at different restaurants.
Delhi police had also arrested four men, Gaurav Khanna, Satish Sethi, Vikrant and Hitesh for hoarding and black-marketing the equipment. Khanna is the CEO of Matrix Cellular Services Ltd which is one of the companies involved in importing the equipment.