KATHMANDU, April 8: At a time when there has been an acute shortage of medical supplies, a high-profile industrialist was arrested here Tuesday on the charge of black marketing in thermal scanners.
Sulav Agrawal, who is the honorary consul of Kyrgyzstan in Nepal, was arrested red-handed by police in possession of 66 units of thermal scanner. At the time he was in a vehicle with special registration provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A team from the Metropolitan Police Crime Division arrested Agrawal, vice chairman of the Shankar Group, from Naxal at 2 pm.
According to Senior Superintendent of Police Sahakul Thapa, Agrawal was selling the thermal guns – used for detecting body temperature – at Rs 16,000, though the device is valued at Rs 5,000 in the domestic market.
Shanker Group – one of the biggest business conglomerates of Nepal – had imported a huge amount of medical supplies from the Chinese market last week.
Though the group imported the medical supplies from China, Agrawal said during police interrogation that he has collected the thermal guns from the domestic market.
Acting on a tip-off, police did a sting operation on Agrawal, posing as buyers. An unsuspecting Agrawal came on his special vehicle to Naxal on Tuesday. The police then caught him red-handed in possession of the thermal scanners.
He had come on a vehicle with registration number 209-HCC-1. Police have taken control of the vehicle.
According to SSP Thapa, police are interrogating Agrawal, who is now in custody.
Hand-held, non-contact infrared thermometers, or 'temperature guns', have emerged as a popular device around the world for screening people for fevers at this time of coronavirus outbreak.
Following the coronavirus outbreak globally, police have confiscated a huge amount of medical supplies from the market.