Years ago, a news came in the Newspapers……………… incidence of 1993, india.
Kidney transplant racket kingpins get bail
Mumbai, Sep 15 : A Mumbai court Monday granted bail to the two main accused in the multi-million dollar illegal kidney transplant racket, Amit Kumar Raut and his brother Jeevan Kumar Raut.
The two were granted bail on sureties of Rs.15,000 each by Bandra court metropolitan magistrate R. Wankheda after police failed to file a charge-sheet against them within the stipulated 90 days time.
He also served a show cause notice against the investigating officer of the Mahim Police Station in this matter. The duo was brought to Mumbai in July to face trial in the illegal kidney transplant case (No. 113/2005).
According to the police official, the charge-sheet was delayed since another accused, Upendra Agarwal, in the same case (No. 113/2005) could not be brought to Mumbai.
“Dr. Agarwal has been evading us on various excuses and getting himself admitted to hospitals so we could not bring him to face trial in this matter,” the official explained.
Amit Kumar Raut was arrested from Nepal’s Chitwan resort early this year and later handed over to the Indian authorities.
A graduate in ayurveda from Akola, near Nagpur in Maharashtra, Amit, now in his early 50s, was first arrested in 1993 with 12 other medicos, including some from government hospitals, in a raid by Mumbai police on Kaushalya Clinic in Khar, northwest Mumbai.
At the time, according to police estimates, Amit and his associates had carried out over 300 kidney transplants worth nearly Rs.450 million ($12 million).
The following year, in August 1994, the Mumbai Police Crime Branch raided the clinic again following complaints of his involvement in a thriving kidney transplant racket.
The raids at that time came after three poor labourers from Hyderabad complained that Raut and his team had cheated them. He had promised to pay them Rs.60,000 each for a kidney, but short-changed them.
Living in the posh Gulmohar Road area of Juhu, Raut subsequently shifted base to Gurgaon, Haryana, on the outskirts of the national capital, where he was found running an illegal kidney transplant ‘hospital’ in January.
Indian police have raided a clinic where a team of doctors ran an illegal kidney-trading ring – removing kidneys from the poor, often by force, in order to sell them to wealthy locals or foreigners.
“We suspect around 400 or 500 kidney transplants were done by these doctors over the last nine years,” said Mohinder Lal, the police commissioner of Gurgaon, where the clinic was located.
Lal said that four doctors, five nurses, 20 paramedics, 10 pathology clinics, five diagnostic centers and three private hospitals were involved in removing and transplanting the kidneys and covertly caring for many of the donors afterward.
In addition, the medical professionals employed a team of kidney scouts to recruit donors from labor markets. In many cases, poor Indians were offered $1,000 to $2,000 for a kidney, and tested on location by a specially equipped car to see if their kidneys were a match for any prospective clients.
Other donors were promised work, then driven to remote locations where they were held at gunpoint, drugged, and operated on.
Forced donor Naseem Mohammed said he was confined in a room with a number of other people. “When I asked why I had been locked inside, the guards slapped me and said they would shoot me if I asked any more questions. They told us not to speak to each other or we would pay with our lives,” he said. Shakeel Ahmed, another forced donor, said the guards told him he would be shot if he ever told anyone what had happened to him.
Forced donors were not given any postoperative care or financial reimbursement.
The doctor in charge of the conspiracy has still not been captured. Known as Amit Kumar, this doctor was arrested in 1994 on suspicion of running a kidney transplant ring, but jumped bail and relocated. Apparently tipped off ahead of time, he also fled ahead of the recent raid.
Five foreigners, from Greece and the United States, were discovered in the clinic when it was raided, but were released without charge due to lack of sufficient evidence against them.
GURGAON, India — The last things Mohammed Salim remembered were the knees pinning him to the ground, the guns pointed at his head, and, finally, the injection that sent him into oblivion.
When he awoke, he was in agonizing pain, uncertain where he was or why he was wearing a hospital gown.
“We have taken your kidney,” a masked man calmly explained. “If you tell anyone, we’ll shoot you.”
Salim was one of the last victims in an organ transplant racket that police believe sold up to 500 kidneys to clients who traveled to India from around the world over the past nine years.
Police say that when they raided the operation’s main clinic in this upscale New Delhi suburb last week, they broke up a ring spanning five Indian states and involving at least four doctors, several hospitals, two dozen nurses and paramedics and a car outfitted as a laboratory.
Subsequent raids uncovered a kidney transplant waiting list with 48 names and, in one clinic, five foreigners — three Greeks and two Americans of Indian descent — who authorities believe were waiting for transplants.
Only one doctor has been arrested so far and police are searching for the alleged ringleader, Amit Kumar, who has several aliases and has been accused in past organ transplant schemes elsewhere in India. Authorities believe he’s fled the country.
“Due to its scale, we believe more members of the Delhi medical fraternity must have been aware of what was going on,” Gurgaon Police Commissioner Mohinder Lal told reporters this week.
There long have been reports of poor Indians illegally selling kidneys, but the transplant racket in Gurgaon is one of the most extensive to come to light — and the first with an element of so-called medical tourism.
The low cost of medical care in India has made it a popular destination for foreigners in need of everything from tummy tucks to heart surgery.
The Gurgaon kidney transplant racket, however, was not the types of operation the medical community wanted in the headlines. The case has shocked the country, sparking debate about medical ethics and organ transplant laws.
Some “donors” were forced onto the operating table at gunpoint, while others were tricked with promises of work, Lal said. There were also some who sold kidneys willingly, usually for between $1,125 to $2,250, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported. The sale of human organs is illegal in India.
Salim, 33, a laborer with five children, said he was lured from his home town a few hours outside New Delhi by a bearded stranger offering a construction job that paid $3.75 a day, as well as food and lodging. He was told the work would last three months.
“I thought I could earn money and save it for my children,” he said from a government hospital in Gurgaon, where he is recovering under police protection.
He was first taken to a two-room house “in the jungle” outside New Delhi where two gunmen held him for six days, he said. Then he was taken to a bungalow in Gurgaon, where armed men took a blood sample at gunpoint.
Salim said he tried to escape, but the doors were locked and within moments, the men were on top of him, sticking him with another needle while he slowly lost consciousness.
When he awoke and learned what happened, Salim thought he was soon to die — he didn’t know you could live with one kidney. He lay in a haze of pain and confusion for about a day, when the men, apparently tipped off to the coming raid, told him they had to move him.
Minutes later, police burst into the house and rescued Salim and two other men who also had their kidneys taken. He never received any money, he said.
“I don’t know how I will survive,” said Salim, whose five children were at the hospital. “I am the only earner in the family and the doctors said I can’t do heavy work.”
Shakeel Ahmed, 28, was in the hospital bed next to Salim, wincing in pain as he told his story. He is unmarried and has no children, but he is responsible for five nieces and nephews, he said.
“I’m sad, I’m angry. I don’t know how I will care for them,” Ahmed said, pointing to his elderly parents sitting on the foot of his bed. “Why me?”