New Delhi: The Delhi Police on Friday (May 7, 2021) recovered 105 oxygen concentrators during raids at two upscale restaurants and arrested four people. Ninety-six oxygen concentrators were recovered from popular restaurant Khan Chacha and nine from Town Hall restaurant, both situated in the Khan Market area, the police said.
This comes a day after Delhi Police recovered 419 oxygen concentrators from a restaurant-cum-bar in south Delhi’s Lodhi Colony area and arrested four men — Gaurav, Satish Sethi, Vikrant and Hitesh for hoarding and black-marketing the equipment.
The accused were produced in a court which granted one-day police custody, a senior police officer said.
“During interrogation, Hitesh had disclosed that they had stored some more oxygen concentrators at restaurants located in the Khan Market area, following which a police team conducted a raid at Town Hall restaurant on Thursday night and recovered nine oxygen concentrators.
“The accused also told the police that more oxygen concentrators had been kept at Khan Chacha restaurant. The team conducted another raid and recovered 96 concentrators from Khan Chacha restaurant. With this, a total of 524 oxygen concentrators have been recovered so far,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (south) Atul Kumar Thakur said.
Navneet Kalra is the owner of all three restaurants. His mobile phone is switched off and he is absconding, the police said.
“With further seizure of 105 #OxygenConcentrator from Khan Chacha & Town Hall, 2 upscale restaurants in Khan Mkt, total 524 seized frm #blackmarketers Owner Navneet Kalra, also owns Dayal Opticals, is on run. Manager, 3 staffers arrested by #DelhiPolice SouthDist. Further raids on,” the Delhi Police said in a tweet.
With further seizure of 105 #OxygenConcentrator from Khan Chacha & Town Hall, 2 upscale restaurants in Khan Mkt, total 524 seized frm #blackmarketers Owner Navneet Kalra, also owns Dayal Opticals, is on run. Manager, 3 staffers arrested by #DelhiPolice SouthDist. Further raids on https://t.co/axlGhatoa8 pic.twitter.com/fE9E9oF3rM
— #DilKiPolice Delhi Police (@DelhiPolice) May 7, 2021
The oxygen concentrators had been imported from China by a company. The cost of one oxygen concentrator was between Rs 16,000 to Rs 22,000. Some of them had a capacity of five litres and some of nine litres, they said.
The accused were selling the machines anywhere between Rs 50,000, to 70,000, Thakur said.
They had been importing the oxygen concentrators since October last year and when the demand increased in February this year, more such machines were imported and stored at different restaurants, he said.
The accused were selling these machines through online portals and messages were also being circulated on WhatsApp, he added.
Matrix Cellular is one of the companies which was involved in importing the machines. CEO of Matrix Cellular Services Ltd Gourav Khanna (47), a resident of Gurgaon Sector-54, has been arrested in connection with the case, Thakur said.
The company recently received a consignment of 650 concentrators, of which 524 have been recovered, the Delhi Police said.
Earlier, the police had said that Nege Ju Restaurant and Bar in Lodhi Colony’s central market was found open on Wednesday.
A man was found working on a laptop at the restaurant. Later, it was found that he was taking online orders for oxygen concentrators, the police had said.
During the search of the restaurant, 32 boxes of oxygen concentrators, one box of a thermal scanner and another box containing N 95 masks were recovered.
A case was registered and four persons were arrested, the police had said.
During interrogation, the accused revealed that they had a warehouse in Chhatarpur. A search was conducted and 387 more units of oxygen concentrators, which were being sold at exorbitant prices in the black market, were recovered from the warehouse. The warehouse, which was located in a farmhouse, was being operated by Matrix Cellular company, the police had said.
Invoices of these oxygen concentrators were recovered. MRP stickers displaying a price of Rs 69,999 per concentrator were also recovered, they had said.