A 22-year-old man was arrested for allegedly cheating Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel on the pretext of donating plasma to coronavirus patients, police said on Monday.
The accused has been identified as Abdul Karim alias Rahul Thakkar, a resident of Prahladpur, they said.
The matter came to light after the police received a complaint from the Speaker on Saturday.
According to the complaint, Mr Goel's nephew was in search of a plasma donor for his father-in-law who had tested positive for coronavirus. Subsequently, he posted a request for help on social media and got a call from Thakkar.
The accused introduced himself as a doctor of a government hospital and said he had recently recovered from the disease and was ready to donate his plasma. His help, however, was not taken at that time due to the availability of another donor, police said.
But later, on June 19, when Mr Goel required a donor for one of his acquaintances, his nephew again posted for a request online. They received a call from Thakkar who asked for transferring Rs 450 to his account for meeting his travel expenses.
After Mr Goel transferred the requested amount, the accused assured that he would reach the private hospital where the patient was admitted, they said.
But later, the accused told them that he did not receive the amount and asked the Delhi Assembly Speaker to transfer the money again.
When they tried to contact him, Thakkar's phone was found to be switched off, the complaint added. Later, Mr Goel found out that the accused had taken money from the family members of the patient as well, police said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Monika Bhardwaj said an FIR was registered under section 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code against Thakkar at the Civil Lines Police Station. He was arrested on Saturday, she said.
"During interrogation, the accused disclosed that he cheated people on the pretext of donating blood plasma amid the pandemic outbreak. He introduced himself as a doctor to COVID-19 patients, pretended to be a plasma donor and asked for money in the guise of travelling expenses to reach the hospital where patients were admitted," the DCP said.
The mobile phone used in commission of crime has been seized, the officer said, adding the accused was also involved in a case of cheating registered at the Hauz Khas Police Station.