Kidney racket bust: Delhi Police probing senior Apollo doctors
- Five men have been arrested for their involvement in a kidney racket at Delhi\'s Apollo Hospital
- Two of them are secretaries of nephrologists, while three are touts
- The law mandates that only relatives of patients can donate organs
- There\'s a suspicion that the racket could not have proceeded without the involvement of doctors
- Who is the kingpin of the racket?
- Apollo\'s statement, distancing itself from the racket
The Delhi Police, on Thursday, 2 June, busted a kidney racket in the national Capital. It arrested five people, two of whom worked at Apollo Hospital, the multi-speciality facility in south Delhi. Apollo, in fact, is one of the most expensive medical facilities in the Capital, and part of the largest chain of hospitals in the country.
The remaining three persons are said to be touts. T Raj Kumar Rao, the kingpin of the racket, is still on the run.
The police also managed to get to three women who were staying in a hotel in Paharganj. While two of them had already donated their kidneys, the third was expected to do so soon.
The police also claims to have identified at least seven cases of organ donation which were done illegally.
Senior doctors involved?
According to Mandeep Singh Randhawa, DCP (South East), two of the men, Aditya Singh, 24, and Shailesh Saxena, 31, worked as personal secretaries to senior Apollo Hospital nephrologists for the last three or four years.
Reports suggest that hospital staff was in the know about the racket running within its premises, and alleged that senior doctors could also be involved. After all, it's highly unlikely that doctors performing the procedure wouldn't figure out that the donor is not related to the recipient, as the law mandates.
Apollo Hospital, on its part, says that two of the arrested individuals are secretarial staff of some doctors and not employees of the hospital.
"While all precautions were taken, it appears fake and forged documents were used for this racket with criminal intent. The hospital has been a victim of a well-orchestrated operation to cheat patients," it said in a statement.
The police is investigating the role of the doctors.
Apollo, meanwhile, claims that it is co-operating in the investigations. "The hospital... has an independent body with external members also for according consent for any transplant surgery. This committee goes through all documents necessary to ensure requirements under the Act are complied with," it reportedly said in a statement.
How the police busted the racket
The South East Delhi district police got a tip off that the gang would be coming to Apollo Hospital for a meeting between a donor and the relative of a patient.
The police then set a trap, which resulted in the arrest of the three touts. They have been charged under the Organ Donation Act, under which, only a relative can donate. Only in circumstances where a match cannot be found within the family of the recipient, an outsider can donate, provided it is proven that no money is involved, and that the donation is done purely on the grounds of compassion.
All hospitals which carry out such procedures are required to have systems in place to follow the law.
The three touts, Aseem Sikdar, Satya Prakash and Devashish Moulik, according to the police, lured poor people to donate their kidneys in exchange for money.
The police says the arrested individuals would forge the documents to prove that the donor was a relative. They claim to have recovered forged Aadhar and Election ID cards, besides other electronic evidence, including CDs and some documents.
A donor was reportedly paid a meagre Rs 5 lakh, while the recipient would be charged a hefty Rs 25-30 lakh. The donors came from states like West Bengal, UP and Tamil Nadu.
Reports suggest that Rao, the kingpin, would even go to Nepal and Sri Lanka to look for needy people willing to sell their kidneys. These donors were put up in fancy hotels in the city during the course of the procedure.
According to reports, Rao is said to be the mastermind of two other such rackets, in Jalandhar, Punjab, and Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
The arrested touts have reportedly told the police that it was Rao who was managing the racket. It was him who would get the donors and strike the deal with his accomplices in the hospital.
Rao is said to be based out of Kolkata. The three middlemen have reportedly told the police that they would just get Rs 1 lakh. It is unclear, who shared the rest of the money.
Edited by Shreyas Sharma
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