Police have arrested a foreign national for allegedly duping people on the pretext of providing Remdesivir injections, officers said on Wednesday.
The accused has been identified as Ashwingwo Ashelly Azenmbuh, a resident of Kumba, Cameroon, they said.
Forty names and phone numbers of victims were found in the message box of the recovered phone. Police have identified 23 victims who have been cheated of around ₹7.50 lakh and further efforts are being made to trace the remaining victims, they said.
Twelve bank accounts of the accused have been identified that are located across India. These accounts have been blocked with an overall existing balance of over ₹85,000, police said.
On May 6, one Rakhi Gupta lodged a complaint where she alleged that she was in need of Remdesivir injection for her relative. She got a number on social media and contacted the person, a senior police officer said.
Ms. Gupta said that the person asked her to give the prescription slip of patient and demanded ₹5,000 per vial. She agreed and transferred ₹25,000 to an account, but did not receive the injections, the officer said.
“During investigation, police found that the accused persons were hiding at Khanpur, Devali. On Sunday morning, police entered the house and arrested Azenmbuh. Her accomplice had already absconded,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer North) Rajiv Ranjan Singh said.
During interrogation, it was found that she works with her boyfriend Elumara Christian, a resident of Nigeria. They put the details on social media and introduced themselves as suppliers of Remdesivir injections, police said.
They asked the patients and their relatives to deposit money in their bank accounts after which they would assure them of supplying the injection. When the patient deposited the money, they did not respond to them and later blocked their contact numbers, the DCP said.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the accused charged ₹3,000 to ₹10,000 for one injection and did not supply a single shot to the victims. Police recovered 10 SIM cards and five mobile phones from the accused, they added.