New Delhi: Delhi Police on Saturday conducted raids in Kolkata and Chennai in search of the kingpin of the kidney trading racket, and other members in connection with which five persons, including two personal secretaries of a Nephrologist in Apollo Hospital here, have been arrested.
While three of the arrested persons have been sent to judicial custody, two were today produced before a court which sent them on two days' police remand, a senior official said.
A 25-member special investigation team has been formed to crack the entire nexus. The team is looking out for other members and the racket's kingpin Rajukumar Rao, for which raids were today conducted at Kolkata and Chennai, a senior police official said.
Meanwhile, two more prominent private hospitals in the national capital and some more staff in Apollo hospital have come under police scanner.
It is suspected that the racket had operated with the same modus operandi at two other hospitals here, which is being probed, the senior official said adding that no clean chit has so far been given to others in Apollo Hospital, which includes some prominent doctors.
From interrogation of the arrested persons, it has emerged that the racket was involved in at least 10 kidney transplants last year in Coimbatore alone. The racket is believed to be active in Punjab and Tamil Nadu, operating in prominent private hospitals there.
Five persons have been arrested on charges of running the kidney racket bringing donors from different parts of the country to the national capital.
The arrest of the five accused has also led to recovery of fake ID proofs such as voter photo identity cards, Aadhaar cards and laptops.
The entire documentation and verification process for organ transplant was bypassed by using forged papers related with agreement of donor, relationship with donor, id and address proofs, proof of marriage and clearance of case by Hospital Internal Authorisation Committee.
All the necessary documents were made fraudulently by affixing donor's photo showing the person as recipient's relative using documents of a genuine relative.
Apollo Hospital denied involvement in the kidney racket emphasising that it was a "victim" of a well-orchestrated operation by the accused.
"The police in their investigation have identified secretarial staff of some doctors, who have been accused of being involved in the alleged racket. We reiterate that these are not employees of the hospital. While all due precautions were conducted, fake and forged documents were used for this racket with a criminal intent. The hospital has been a victim of a well-orchestrated operation to cheat patients and the hospital," the statement by hospital stated.
The hospital also claimed that in order to ensure compliance with the law and diligence in process, it has an independent body with external members also for according consent for any transplant surgery.