Oxygen concentrators sold by Khan Chacha owner useless: Police

Businessman Navneet Kalra and four employees of international SIM company Matrix, including its CEO, earned a profit of Rs 40,000-Rs 42,000 each from oxygen concentrators sold to Covid patients, the Delhi Police has stated in a draft chargesheet in the alleged black-marketing case, expected to be filed in the Saket court. They have also alleged that concentrators were “of sub-standard quality and useless for Covid treatment”.

Last year, police had recovered 524 concentrators from three restaurants owned by Kalra — Town Hall and Khan Chacha in Khan Market and Nege Ju in Lodhi Colony — as well as from Matrix’s warehouse in Chhatarpur’s Mandi Village.

Kalra and four employees of Matrix — Gaurav Khanna, CEO of Matrix Cellular; Gaurav Suri, business head; Satish Sethi, sales manager; and Vikrant Singh, sales manager — along with the manager of Khan Chacha restaurant Hitesh Kumar were arrested. Police had alleged these oxygen concentrators were sold at exorbitant prices during the pandemic. The men are out on bail while Matrix owner Gagan Deep Singh Duggal is absconding, police said.

On May 8 last year, the case was transferred to the inter-state cell of the Crime Branch.

“Gaurav Khanna told police during questioning that his company had sold each oxygen concentrator with a profit margin of Rs 40,000 to Rs 42,000… delivery of some oxygen concentrators were made from Khullar farmhouse in Sultanpur and Nege Ju restaurant…,” police stated in their draft chargesheet.

Police also attached the statement of Sahil Nakra, proprietor of classic metals and importer of oxygen concentrators for Matrix, who claimed Duggal had approached him in April 2021 with enquiries on oxygen concentrators. Following Kalra’s arrest on May 17, police had recovered a laptop on which they found bills related to sale-purchase of oxygen concentrators, an Ipad, and a diary containing account details.

“During investigation, sales summary report of Dayal Opticals (of which Kalra is the director) was prepared. On scrutiny of the same, sale of total units was found to be 584, recovery of total oxygen concentrators was 105, and 59 oxygen concentrators were sold by Kalra to known persons in cash. Police… also extracted WhatsApp chats of the accused persons and their employees. All WhatsApp chats were placed on record by the investigation officer, which showed that the accused had ‘misrepresented’ to customers about the quality of the machine and sold the same as ‘buy Covid care equipment’,” police alleged in their draft chargesheet.

Police also found the MRP sticker of Rs 69,999, which they recovered from the office of Matrix at Khullar farmhouse.

“Police had also sought a report from the Shriram Institute for Industrial Research (SIIR) regarding evaluation of oxygen concentrators after sending samples to them; they were found to be sub-standard. Police also sought a report from a committee at AIIMS, the senior chief medical officer, EMR, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. As per evaluation of samples at SIIR, ‘average output in terms of oxygen purity is found to be 32.7% and 38.2%’… These show oxygen concentrators are of sub-standard quality and useless for Covid treatment. However, they sold it on the pretext that it can be used for Covid treatment,” police stated.

Police alleged in their probe that as per Duggal’s Registrar of Companies record, he has never had any business history of medical equipment/devices and he cashed in on the pandemic for pecuniary gain.

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