The three culprits arrested by the Central Crime Station (CCS) police in the international kidney trafficking case have reportedly sold 21 kidneys in Colombo (Sri Lanka) in the past few months. The Hyderabad police have alerted the Indian High Commission in Colombo about the racket and a special team of CCS will leave for the island nation to further investigate the case.
The CCS investigators have arrested N Venkatesham, 38, from Chityal in Nalgonda district, D Shanmukha Pavan Srinivas, 25, an MBA student from BN Reddy Nagar in Vanasthalipuram, and Govind Suryanarayana alias Surya alias Suresh, 29, from Vijayawada.
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Hyderabad police commissioner Anurag Sharma said the trio had sold their own kidneys in the past and in the process, they made contacts with doctors in Sri Lanka, who carry out kidney transplants, and then became local agents in Andhra Pradesh to earn easy money. “For supplying a kidney donor, the agents received between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh,” Anurag Sharma said.
The agents would collect the donors’ details from internet postings at ineedakidneynow.org and www.experienceproject.com and, after obtaining their willingness to donate their kidneys, the culprits would alert the Lankan doctors.
Once the doctor gave the green signal, the agents would make the donor go through basic tests in Andhra Pradesh and, if everything was satisfactory, they would buy to and fro air tickets for the donor and send him or her to Colombo.
In a similar manner, Venkatesham had sent Dinesh Kumar Maru, 26, from Kothagudem, Kiran Kumar from Guntur and Aram Zargar (whose details are yet to be known) to Colombo on March 23. At the time of sending Dinesh and Kiran to Colombo, Venkatesham promised to pay them Rs 5 lakh each.
After landing in Colombo, the victims were provided accommodation and food by local agents of the doctors and they were also given some money. On March 28, the victims went to a beach in Colombo and there Dinesh consumed beer, smoked a lot of cigarettes and swam in the water for about an hour, the commissioner said.
After having fun, the victims returned to Navaloka hospital where Kiran’s kidney removal surgery was scheduled for the next day. “At Navaloka hospital, Dinesh suddenly started vomiting and fell unconscious. Aram Zargar had rushed Dinesh to the Colombo Government Hospital, where Dinesh was declared brought dead. We do not know whether Dinesh died due to sunstroke or heart attack,” the commissioner said.
Talking to the media, Kiran said that his kidney was removed on March 29 and later he was sent to India. “I was only paid Rs 3.9 lakh by the doctors in Colombo,” Kiran said. He told police that Aram Zargar’s kidney was also removed, but his details were yet to be ascertained.
After the death of Dinesh, his body was dispatched to Hyderabad by Sri Lankan authorities through the Indian High Commission on April 3. After Dinesh’s death, his family members became suspicious about the Lankan trip and the kidney racket came to light when his brother Ganesh Kumar opened the formers’ email and Facebook accounts.
Based on a complaint by Ganesh, CCS sleuths had registered a case and nabbed Venkatesham and Shanmuka Srinivas. Armed with the information provided by them, police nabbed the third accused, Suryanarayana from Vijayawada, on Monday. Among the trio, Suryanarayana’s role was to scare donors by posing as a cop and also make arrangements for Venkatesham and Srinivas to leave the country for a short period in case of any trouble from local law enforcement agencies.
“In the past few months, Srinivas had sent 15 donors and Venkatesham six to Sri Lanka. We are yet to get their full details,” Anurag Sharma said. While the doctors in Sri Lanka would collect anywhere between Rs 40 lakh and Rs 50 lakh for each transplant, they would pay only Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh to Indian brokers and up to Rs 5 lakh to the donors.
“The Lankan doctors would arrange kidney transplant surgeries at Colombo hospitals like Western Hospital, Navaloka hospital, Hemas hospital and Lanka Hospital. We have informed both the Sri Lankan High Commission in India and Indian High Commission in Colombo about the kidney racket. A special team of CCS sleuths will leave for Colombo to further probe the matter. Our special teams are also working at other locations in the country to nab more such gangs,” Anurag Sharma said.
Apart from AP, similar gangs are said to be operating from Mumbai, Pune, Kurukshetra in Haryana, Ahmedabad and Bhubaneshwar. (Times of India)