Kolkata: Police arrest man for duping dozens with promise of testing their swab samples
Last week, Kolkata Police had arrested three persons for providing a fake report to a Covid-19 patient, declaring him not suffering from the viral infection.Updated: Aug 04, 2020 19:10 IST
A man was arrested in Kolkata for allegedly duping dozens of people with the promise of testing their swab samples for the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
Last week, Kolkata Police had arrested three persons for providing a fake report to a Covid-19 patient, declaring him not suffering from the viral infection.
However, later, the patient succumbed to the viral infection.
Police said that the accused, living a tony high-rise residential complex, used to introduce himself as a staff of a well-known private hospital in east Kolkata to his unsuspecting clients.
He would collect swab samples from a patient’s home and charge Rs 3,600 for each sample, which is at least 40% more than the rate fixed by the Mamata Banerjee-led Bengal government.
His modus operandi was simple: on the collection of the sample, he would stop responding to his client’s calls and messages.
“The duped persons used to call up the hospital and lodge complaints. After a few such cases surfaced, the hospital lodged a police complaint. A preliminary investigation has revealed that the man duped at least 50 people. Further investigation is on,” said a police officer.
The accused, identified as Soumitra Chowdhury (39), used to send WhatsApp messages to various groups. He identified himself as a representative of the private hospital and even included a link of the state health department to make his messages look authentic.
“Chowdhury was arrested from a bus stand in east Kolkata on Tuesday. Further investigation is on to check how many persons he might have duped and whether any other person is involved,” said Gaurav Lal, deputy commissioner (east division), Kolkata Police.
Earlier, a bank manager (57) was duped by a separate racket with a fake report that showed him Covid-19 negative. The manager died in a government-run hospital last week.
Kolkata Police had arrested three persons on the basis of a complaint lodged by the deceased’s wife.