Monday, January 28, 2008

International Kidney Transplant Ring Busted in India

In the back of the posh three story clinic, a cash-n-carry kidney chop shop, in the front, foreign patients ferried back and forth from the clinic to the local hospital for surgery and "recovery."

All and all a lucrative business for the now missing Dr. Kumar.

On the night of January 24th, the police in Gurgaon, India raided the three story "posh" clinic of Dr Amit Kumar, "alleged kingpin of the multi-crore-kidney transplant racket." It's believed Kumar was tipped off and therefore had time to flee the country on possibly a fake passport.
Police said documents seized by them threw light on some 48 people who had contacted Kumar for kidneys. Besides India, these people hailed from the US, Canada, Greece and the UAE, the Police Commissioner said. Source - Hindustan Times
Police seized cars they believe Kumar and his associates used to ferry patients from the clinic to two local hospitals.
Police had identified five nurses and 20 employees of two hospitals here who might be involved in the racket, Lal said.
During the raid police found two women waiting at the clinic to receive one of Dr. Kumar's kidneys. One was from Greece, the other from the United States. The authorities allowed the two women to leave the country.

Where did Kumar get his stockpile of kidneys?

According to India Express the man responsible for blowing the cover of the illicit kidney caper was one, 52-year-old Vidya Prakash Jatav.

Jatav claims he was lured into getting cash for his kidney but others claim Jatav was also a "tout" for the clinic:
It’s here that Jatav told Babulal that he lost one of his kidneys at a house in Gurgaon’s Sector 22 two years ago. And it’s near here, at Kapoor chowk, that Jatav, that same evening, claims that he spotted the touts who had lured him then. “He told me that his kidney was taken away by doctors in Gurgaon. I called police and Jatav lodged an FIR,” says Babulal. But then, it’s also here that Jatav’s story takes a bizarre twist. Babulal goes on to admit that Jatav, now in custody and a key complainant, had actually asked him whether he could “arrange four people who would donate kidneys for 50,000 each”. The victim, claims Babulal, had actually become a kidney tout. And that was when, he says, he tipped off the police — even if it was to show Jatav the “right path”. But while police sources back Babulal, Jatav continues to stick to his ‘victim’ story.
Jatav claims the clinic took his kidney then "abused his special-caste status" and threatened his life. It was then that Jatav filed his complaint to the police.

It's believed the kidneys were sought from "victims," those who desperately needed money and that the recipients were those from other countries who felt their chances of obtaining a new kidney from their own health care providers in order to survive, were between slim and none.

More information has revealed a far more sophisticated racket than just a backdoor and bathtub operation.
Meanwhile, the Moradabad Police said the interrogation of six accused, who worked for Dr Kumar, has thrown up the names of some Delhi hospitals and diagnostic centres. “The gang used to take the patients to some top diagnostic labs and hospitals in Delhi,” said SSP Prem Prakash.

Lal said: “Some hospitals in Delhi and Gurgaon were used by the gang for recuperating their patients after kidney transplant.”

The police did not rule out the possibility that patients were admitted to these hospitals under fake names and addresses. They said they might question these hospitals and check their records. Source - Hindustan Times

No word yet on the amount Kumar may have charged the patients for the new kidney. The Indian state police have asked for the assistance of Interpol in tracking down the now missing Kumar.

Chances are that across the globe quite a few people bought themselves a new life and kidney from Dr. Kumar and his "special" clinic, the new transplant from some poor person from the slums of India, desperate enough for cash to sell one of their own organs.

Such as the man who blew the whistle on Kumar and his kidney gang, 52-year-old Vidya Prakash Jatav.

Image - Insurance Broadcasting

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