Mumbai: The Mumbai Police, which recently busted a kidney trafficking racket operating from the city's reputed LH Hiranandani Hospital, has revealed how the racket operated and lured the poor villagers to sell their kidneys to recipients via a full-fledged network of agents.
The organ harvesting ring was busted by the Mumbai Police after it received a tip-off that poor villagers were being contacted by the hospital's agents to convince them to sell their kidneys to the wealthy recipients in lieu of big money.
Mumbai Deputy Police Commissioner Ashok Dudhe said that the police uncovered the racket at LH Hiranandani Hospital after a social activist alerted the Powai Police regarding an illegal transplant at the hospital on July 14.
The police reached the spot and stopped the surgery. It was found that the kidney recipient, Brijkishore Jaiswal, was not related to the donor, Shobha Thakur, who was posing as his wife. The police subsequently registered a case and arrested eight persons.
After primary investigation, the police came to know that the traffickers allegedly lured poor people from Gujarat into selling their kidneys for about 200,000 rupees and then re-sold their organs in the black market at a huge profit.
The investigation by the Powai Police also established that Bhijendra Bhisen, the main accused in the case, used agents to scout for donors and recipients, mostly from Gujarat.
The accused would then prepare forged documents showing the donor as a relative of the patient.
Nilesh Kamble, the assistant manager and transplant coordinator at Hiranandani Hospital, reportedly ensured that the documents were accepted by the hospital committee as genuine so that the surgery could take place without glitches.
The police then arrested eight accused people, including a man named Khwaja, a Mumbra resident, who allegedly procured forged documents, in connection with the case.
However, Dr Rajesh Kumar, attached with the Nephrology Department of Hiranandani hospital, said, “The hospital has no role in the kidney racket. If doctors are arrested because some other party is submitting forged documents, it will hamper the organ transplant programme.”
Meanwhile, the police has charged the chief executive, medical director and three other doctors of the LH Hiranandani Hospital with offences related to illegal organ transplants.
This is the second kidney trafficking racket found operating out of a top Indian hospital in recent months.
In June, police discovered a similar racket operating out of the reputable Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in the capital New Delhi. A shortage of organs for transplants fuels a black-market trade in body parts in India.
Commercial trade in organs is illegal in India and only relatives can act as donors. As per the law, transplant donations must be approved by a special transplant committee at each hospital.