The Delhi Police has busted a kidney trade racket in the national capital with the arrest of six persons, including two personal staff of a doctor at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.
However, Apollo Hospital has distanced itself from the racket and said they ensured full cooperation with the police. They said in a statement that they were a “victim of a well-orchestrated operation to cheat patients and the hospital”.
According to the police, the members of the network first sought details of the patients requiring kidneys and then lured poor donors based outside Delhi with the help of middlemen. The arrests were made around 9 p.m. on Thursday at Apollo Hospital in southeast Delhi. The police were tipped off about their presence, a senior officer said.
The accused include three middlemen, who are believed to have sold at least four kidneys so far in Delhi, and three potential donors, including two women, who were picked from a village in north India, the official said.
A case regarding the matter has been registered at Sarita Vihar Police Station and the accused are being interrogated.
The two arrested Apollo staff members – Aditya and Sukesh – worked with the hospital’s senior nephrologist Dr Ashok Sarin.
The Delhi Police has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case. Investigations have revealed that the members of the gang were also active in Jalandhar, Punjab.
As per the police, middlemen Asim, Satyaprakash and Debashish arranged for suitable donors after Aditya and Shailesh, who worked as personal staff of a senior doctor in the hospital, got willing recipients.
While the donors got only 3-4 lakhs as compensation, the kidneys were sold at 25-30 lakhs to wealthy recipients. The middlemen made a cut of 1-2 lakhs per deal.
The police said that they have credible information about 5 such illegal transplants carried out by the gang in the past 6 months.
Importantly, the police have made it clear that involvement of doctors and/or of the hospital management cannot be ruled at this juncture.