Akola police have arrested the prime accused in the kidney racket, Shivaji Koli, from Sangli on Sunday. They have also arrested another person named Vinod Pawar from a village in Buldana district. Pawar was also acting as an agent according to police.
“Koli’s involvement in kidney trafficking to Sri Lanka has been established. We have arrested him from Sangli.,” Akola Superintendent of Police Chandrakishor Mina told The Indian Express.
“Pawar, whose name cropped up during investigations, was picked up for his role as an agent,” Mina added.
The kidney trafficking racket had come to fore earlier this week with one Santosh Gawli filing a complaint that he wasn’t given an assured Rs 4 lakh in exchange for his kidney, which was removed in a hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka earlier this year.
On the basis of Gawli’s statement, police had arrested Santosh Shirsad, the agent at Akola, who had put Gawli in connection with Koli. It was Koli who had allegedly arranged for Gawli’s travel documents for Colombo.
Police had also arrested Anand Jadhav of Akola from whom Gawli had taken a loan of Rs 20,000 but was unable to repay. Jadhav had allegedly facilitated Gawli’s meeting with Shirsad.
Investigations also had four more cases from Akola of which one of the victims named Shantabai Kharat had come forward with a similar complaint.
The probe had led police to at least six doctors and a hospital executive, all of whom have been interrogated. “Can’t comment, it’s being investigated,” said Mina, when asked if their involvement has been evidenced.
Two of the doctors are from Nagpur, two from Yavatmal and two from an Aurangabad hospital, whose chief executive officer has also been questioned. Of the five cases that have surfaced so far, two kidney removals were done in Sri Lanka and three in India.