Tilak Nagar police arrested a 35-year-old man from Vasai for allegedly duping COVID-19 patients and their relatives on the pretext of selling them Remdesivir, an antiviral drug used for treating serious COVID-19 patients.
According to the police, the accused identified as Rupesh Gupta, who works at a pest control firm, saw an opportunity to make money and decided to dupe needy people by selling them fake drug. In last 15 days, Gupta allegedly duped 8-9 people, said Tilak Nagar police officials
He came on police radar after he allegedly duped a woman for Rs 18,000 on Monday. The woman's relative was in urgent need of the medicine, she contacted him after receiving his contact details on WhatsApp and asked him to deliver five vials of the drug and paid Rs 18,000 online. But instead of Remdesivir she received some white powder. On her complaint the police registered an offence of cheating and under the sections of Information Technology act and began looking for Gupta. On Thursday police traced him to Vasai and arrested him.
During his questioning, he said that he decided to use shortage of Remdesivir for his own benefit and circulated his mobile number on WhatsApp as a purported dealer of Remdesivir and started accepting orders, said Tilak police. Instead of providing remdesivir, Gupta used to supply, Traxol-S, an antibiotic, and for each vial he charged Rs 3000 - Rs 4000, added Tilak Nagar police officials.
According to the police, Gupta was operating in connivance with a staff of local medical store who assured him that the drugs they were supplying would not cause any harm. The police are currently questioning the staff, while Gupta has been remanded to police custody for three days.
"During the investigation we learnt the accused have allegedly supplied 29 vials to 8-9 people from Borivali, Andheri, Dadar and Ghatkopar in turn cheating them. We are urging people to come forward and complain if they have been cheated by the accused," said Sunil Kale, senior inspector of Tilak Nagar police station.