THE POWAI police probing the alleged kidney racket at the L H Hiranandani Hospital have found it has links to a similar high-profile kidney racket busted in Madhya Pradesh in 2008.
One of the persons under Powai police’s scanner for the illegal kidney transplants, suspected to have taken place at the Hiranandani hospital, was arrested by the Madhya Pradesh police in 2008 in connection with a kidney transplant case there, an officer said.
An officer said that they might coordinate with the Madhya Pradesh police about the person after getting more evidence against him.
A senior officer, requesting anonymity, said, “Apart from the seven arrested, there are a few more people under our scanner. We learnt that one of them – whose name cropped up during the interrogation of an accused – was arrested in a kidney racket busted in Madhya Pradesh, a few years ago.”
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In June 2008, the Madhya Pradesh police had arrested three persons for allegedly running a kidney racket. After the racket was busted, at least 13 cases of donors being arranged from different parts of MP had come to light. The case also came under the spotlight after the son of one of the arrested accused committed suicide, after learning his father was allegedly involved in the kidney racket.
Talking about the person whose name has cropped up, a source said, “He is notorious and has been associated with kidney rackets for the past few years.”
Another officer said one of the accused mentioned the person’s name, following which they cross-verified his name with the Ahmedabad crime branch. “We are questioning the arrested accused and the person he named is not high priority. He is, however, connected to the case. Depending on the evidence we gather, we will decide if his role is enough to make him an accused,” an officer said.
Earlier in the day, Brijkishore Jaiswal, who was to receive a kidney, was discharged by the L H Hiranandani hospital and taken to J J hospital. The donor, Shobha Thakur, has not yet been discharged.
An officer said that as per procedure, they would be placing the duo under formal arrest on discharge. “In Transplantation of Human Organs Act, there is no provision of a victim,” an officer said. As per law, the donor and recipient should be blood relatives. In this case, documents were forged to show Jaiswal and Thakur as husband and wife. The Powai police busted the illegal transplant case last Thursday based on a tip off by an insider.
“So far in the probe, the modus operandi that has come forth is that both the donor and the recipient are likely from Gujarat. The first step is to scout for donors. Once a person is willing to donate his or her kidney, they are made to undergo a blood test, either in Mumbai or Gujarat. Depending on the test reports, they are asked to wait till the time a recipient is found. Once a recipient is found, the agents call up the donor and further negotiations are carried out.” The officer added, “On most occasions, a person who has donated his or her kidney then get others who are willing to donate and inform the agent. In the process, the donor thus becomes a middleman and the chain keeps expanding.”