- UPDATED: May 8, 2021 14:47 IST
Two days after Delhi Police conducted raids at three upscale restaurants in Delhi and recovered 524 oxygen concentrators, police have recovered an audio clip where businessman Navneet Kalra, the owner of all three restaurants, is purportedly heard discussing the allotment of the oxygen concentrators.
Delhi Police on Friday recovered 105 oxygen concentrators during raids at two upscale restaurants — 96 from Khan Chacha and nine from Town Hall — in Lutyen Delhi’s Khan Market. On Thursday, police had recovered 419 oxygen concentrators from a restaurant-cum-bar in south Delhi’s Lodhi Colony area.
Navneet Kalra is the owner of all three restaurants. His mobile phone is switched off and he is absconding. The police on Saturday chanced upon an audio clip, likely that of Navneet Kalra, in which he is heard discussing the allotment of oxygen concentrators to “friends” in the Khan Market area.
In the audio clip, Navneet Kalra is heard saying that he has “too much pressure” on him and he cannot answer all the calls.
“I have 2 lakh calls to attend, so I won’t be able to answer each and everybody’s personal question. Which model is sent to you is detailed in the self-explanatory messages…I can give one machine [oxygen concentrator] per person to the people in Khan Market for their use,” Navneet Kalra is heard saying.
“If anyone still needs a machine, then they will be blocked by 3 [it couldn’t be ascertained if it is am or pm]. I am out of machines, so I can’t allow the machines to even Khan Market friends. So please share this message…I have too much pressure on me,” Navneet Kalra is heard saying.
Police have said the orders for oxygen concentrators were taken via an online portal as well as through WhatsApp groups. Screenshots of Navneet Kalra discussing the supply and demand of oxygen concentrators in one such group on April 26 were obtained by India Today TV.
The accused 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. Police had arrested four people on Friday during the raids.
The seized 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. The accused were selling the machines anywhere between Rs 50,000 to 70,000.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has transferred the case of alleged black-marketing and hoarding of oxygen concentrators to the Crime Branch.