In Delhi, three people were arrested for selling painted fire extinguishers as oxygen cylinders. An individual named Mukesh Khanna, who runs the Radha Vallabh Sewa Sangh NGO, which provides free oxygen cylinders to Covid patients, lodged a complaint at the Farsh Bazar police station on Tuesday (May 4, 2021) in the regard, according to police.
Officials from the Delhi Police said on Wednesday (May 05, 2021) that three people were arrested for allegedly painting fire extinguishers as oxygen cylinders and selling them to the needy.
The offenders have been identified as Alipur residents Ravi Sharma (40), Mohammad Abdul (38) and Shambhu Shah (30). The matter was brought to light after a complaint was lodged at the Farsh Bazar police station by Mukesh Khanna, who runs the Radha Vallabh Sewa Sangh NGO, which provides free oxygen cylinders to Covid patients.
Khanna said that one oxygen cylinder distributor, Varsha Engineering in Apni Colony, Alipur, sold him 4.5-liter oxygen cylinders for Rs 5,500 each. According to a senior police officer, when he approached the same distributor again to ask more cylinders, the distributor sought Rs 13,000 per 4.5 litre cylinder.
On the basis of the allegation, a raiding party was sent to Alipur, where three persons were discovered painting some gas cylinders black, according to the officer. “During the investigation, it was discovered that distributor Ravi Sharma was removing the red paint from CO2 fire cylinders and converting them to oxygen cylinders by painting them black with the assistance of Abdul and Shah,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara) R Sathiyasundaram. Sharma and his friends defrauded the plaintiff by supplying fire extinguishing cylinders for an exorbitant price as oxygen cylinders. According to the DCP, all three suspected people have been arrested.
532 fire extinguisher iron gas cylinders of various sizes, 26 oxygen gas cylinder nozzles, two electric grinders used to strip the red paint from the cylinders, three silver colour spray-paint tubes, one black paint box, one paintbrush, one pipe-wrench, and Rs 49,500 cash were confiscated, according to police.
During questioning, police discovered that the accused used to gather unused or expired fire extinguisher cylinders and then market them as waste or replace the CO2 for firefighting. They organised a plot to strip the original cylinder's red colour, repaint it black, and repair the nozzle to make it look like an oxygen cylinder, police said, citing the current oxygen shortage as a result of the COVID pandemic.
According to police, the accused have admitted to selling a large number of such cylinders.