Delhi Police arrests 18-year-old student in Madhya Pradesh for cheating Covid patients over medicines

Police said the accused used to take money from the families of Covid-19 patients on the pretext of providing essential medicines, including Remdesivir, and then block their phone numbers.

An 18-year-old psychology student was arrested from Madhya Pradesh for allegedly cheating Covid-19 patients and their family members by taking money from them on the pretext of providing essential drugs, including Remdesivir injections.

Police said the accused, Vartika Rai, a first-year student of psychology at the Indira Gandhi National Open University, managed to scam 11 people in around four days from her home in Seoni.

Delhi Police arrested her from her residence in Madhya Pradesh after a complaint at the Defence Colony police station.

Ankit Kumar, in his complaint, said that on May 1, his family urgently needed 5-6 vials of Remdesivir for his relative but couldn’t find the drug in the market. Kumar found Rai’s number on Google as a vendor and approached her. She promised to give him 5 vials for Rs 32,400. After Kumar sent the money through UPI, the accused stopped responding to his calls

A case was registered and a police team noted down the bank details of the accused.

Atul Kumar Thakur, DCP (South) said, “People were in dire need and owing to the stress related to the pandemic, the accused was able to take advantage of the situation and cheat people. Our team travelled to Seoni, but the address linked to the bank account was not found.”

The police then tracked down Rai’s via technical surveillance of her phone. On Wednesday, the team raided her house and arrested Rai. They also recovered Rs 32,400 cash from her and froze her bank account which has around Rs 1.33 lakh.

Rai confessed to her crime and told the police that she works with public pages and accounts on Instagram as a “promoter” and earns money from that. Her father owns a pharmacy and her uncle had recently recovered from Covid-19.

“This gave her an idea about the need for the injections in the market and how social media could help her. She cheated over 11 people who were desperately searching for emergency medicines. She put her WhatsApp number on the Internet and received several requests for the drug. After receiving payment, she used to block the victims’ numbers,” the police said.

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