Updated: July 20, 2020 11:59:03 pm
A 25-year-old man was arrested by Hyderabad police Monday on charges of cheating COVID-19 patients, by promising to donate plasma or arrange anti-viral emergency drugs for them.
The police suspect the accused, Sandeep Reddy, a resident of Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh, has cheated more than 200 people in this manner.
According to officers, Reddy realised the huge demand for plasma donors and anti-viral drugs, and started looking for his victims on social networking platforms. He would contact them and introduce himself as someone who had recovered from COVID-19 and was willing to donate plasma. In certain cases, he introduced himself as a seller of antiviral drugs or of the Tocilizumab 400 mg injection, the police said.
After gaining the confidence of the victims, he would request them to transfer some money towards his travel expenses, an officer said. Once the online transactions were successful, he would give them the slip.
According to a police statement from G Chakravarthy, Additional DCP, Reddy had been released from jail only recently, as he had been serving imprisonment in connection with two theft cases in Visakhapatnam.
In connection with the offences, he has been charged under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (Cheating) of the IPC and under section 66(d) of IT Act, 2008, at four different police stations, including the Central Crime Station in Hyderabad. The Commissioner’s Task Force (East Zone) nabbed him and handed him over to Panjagutta police station for further investigation.
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