Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel Credit: Twitter image

New Delhi: Even in a pandemic like this crooks find a way to dupe innocent people. In a curious case of COVID-19 fraud, 22-year-old Abdul Karim alias Rahul Thakur from Prahladpur was arrested by police on June 22 for cheating and duping Delhi assembly speaker Ram Niwas Goel. Karim posed as a doctor from Ram Manohar Lohia hospital who had recovered from COVID-19 and offering to donate plasma.

On June 19, the speaker transferred Rs 450 cab fare to Karim to reach Medanta hospital to donate his plasma, but he never showed up.

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Goel was trying to arrange plasma for his neighbour who had contracted COVID-19. He later found that other family members of the patient had also transferred cab fare to Karim.

The speaker then submitted a written complaint to police on June 20 and on Monday the accused was arrested from his residence at South Delhi’s Pul Prahladpur.

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Upon investigation, it was revealed that Karim had duped several people by pretending to be a COVID-19 survivor and a doctor. He would offer to donate plasma and ask for cab fare to reach the hospital. Upon receiving money, he would stop taking calls and switch off his phone.

An FIR against Karim was registered under section 420 (cheating and dishonesty, including the delivery of property) of the IPC. According to Goel, his neighbour’s family was put under immense stress. However, the family were able to find a plasma doner and the patient is said to be recovering.

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