The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday registered a money laundering case against entrepreneur Navneet Kalra and his accomplices, who were arrested for allegedly hoarding and black marketing oxygen concentrators, reported the Hindustan Times. Kalra was sent to three days’ police custody on Monday after being arrested the previous night.
Kalra, the owner of multiple famous eateries in Delhi, had been on the run since the police first raided his properties on May 7 and seized over 500 oxygen concentrators. The entrepreneur was also involved in the sale of the equipment at exorbitant rates.
As part of the inquiry for the charges under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the Enforcement Directorate will look into the sale and purchase of the oxygen concentrators, according to the Hindustan Times.
Kalra’s counsel, who represented him in the Delhi High Court, said they had not been informed about the Enforcement Directorate investigation. The entrepreneur had attempted to stave off arrest through pleas in courts, including the Delhi High Court.
The raids at the properties of the Delhi-based entrepreneur occurred during a police crackdown on illegal hoarding amid an acute shortage of oxygen concentrators, which is crucial for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
As many as 524 concentrators were seized on May 7 from registered offices and restaurants owned by Kalra in Delhi’s Khan Market, Lodhi Colony and Chhattarpur areas. A first information report was registered and four people – Hitesh Prakash, Gaurav Singh, Satish Sethi and Vikrant Singh – were arrested during the raids. The accused were booked under Indian Penal Code sections of cheating, Essential Commodities Act and Epidemic Diseases Act.