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Navneet Kalra arrested in oxygen concentrators ‘black marketing’ case

During investigation, it was found that Matrix allegedly procured more than 7,000 machines from local vendors and Chinese companies and sold them at “exorbitant rates” to Covid patients and their families.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi |
Updated: May 17, 2021 10:51:09 am
Delhi oxygen concentrator case: Navneet Kalra remanded in 3-day police custodyA Delhi court remanded businessman Navneet Kalra, arrested for allegedly black marketing oxygen concentrators, to police custody for three days. (PTI)

Delhi Police on Sunday evening arrested businessman Navneet Kalra, who is accused of black marketing oxygen concentrators in the capital along with an international SIM company called Matrix Cellular Services Ltd. He has been arrested from his brother-in-law’s farmhouse in Gurugram.

Police searched the farmhouse after they found that Kalra’s brother-in-law, who visited the property once in a month earlier, suddenly visited thrice in the last 10 days, police said.

Kalra owns three restaurants, from where police had recovered more than 500 oxygen concentrators.

On May 5, DCP (south) Atul Kumar Thakur had announced that personnel of Lodhi Colony police station had recovered 419 oxygen concentrators during a search at Nege Ju Restaurant and Bar.

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The same evening, Kalra switched off his cell-phone. But before doing so, police found that Kalra had made multiple calls to two IPS officers, including a former Delhi Police Commissioner and a senior IAS officer. “Kalra and some others had left his home in two cars — a Range rover and a Thar jeep. His last location was near Damdama resort in Gurgaon. We found that he switched off his phone on May 5 and started using his domestic help’s phone to make calls on WhatsApp and Facebook. During investigation, police observed one unusual pattern of his brother-in-law, who has a farmhouse where he visited in a month, but for the last 10 days, he visited thrice. They got his exact location and conducted a raid on Sunday evening from where they arrested Kalra,” police sources said.

The probe has been transferred to the interstate cell of the Crime Branch. “A case under IPC sections 420 (cheating), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 3/7 Essential Commodities Act, and 3 Epidemic Diseases Act was registered. Four men, including the manager of the restaurant, were arrested. On the instance of one of the accused, 96 more oxygen concentrators were recovered from Khan Chacha Restaurant and nine from Town Hall restaurant in Khan Market,” Thakur said.

During investigation, it was found that Matrix allegedly procured more than 7,000 machines from local vendors and Chinese companies and sold them at “exorbitant rates” to Covid patients and their families.

Police had earlier arrested the company’s CEO Gaurav Khanna and Vice President Gaurav Suri along with three other employees. The accused have been booked under sections related to cheating, Epidemic Diseases Act, and Essential Commodities Act.

Police claim Kalra worked with his friend Gagan Duggal, owner of Matrix Cellular Services, to sell the equipment. Police had said the accused imported the equipment at a cost of Rs 16,000 to Rs 22,000 each and sold it for Rs 70,000.

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First published on: 16-05-2021 at 11:16:24 pm

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