Mahabubnagar Police arrested a petty rice trader who posed as a kidney doctor online and was duping gullible people who wanted to sell kidneys. Police arrested Syed Haneef Shanu, 44, from Guntakal in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh and unraveled the plot while tracing a 22-year-old student of Mahabubnagar who mysteriously went missing on November 24. Posing as Dr Anand, Syed Haneef Shanu posted messages on social networking sites promising to pay up to Rs 50 lakhs to kidney donors. When anyone contacted the mobile number he provided, Shanu used to ask that person to deposit Rs 10,000 first as a fee in a bank account. Once the fee was deposited in his account, Shanu would switch off the mobile or stop responding to phone calls from the victims. He is suspected to have cheated several persons in this manner.
On November 24, Gandla Surender, a tractor mechanic, lodged a complaint at Mahabubnagar I Town police station stating that his 22-year-old son G Kiran Kumar was missing from that morning after he went out of house saying he was going to the barber’s shop. Kiran, who was doing a computer course in Hyderabad and was staying with some friends, had gone home the previous week.
Police formed a special team to trace Kiran, scrutinized his mobile phone data records and interviewed his friends. Cops got the first clue from a female friend of Kiran. Working on the information they got, the Mahabubnagar police team suspected that Kiran got trapped in an online kidney sale fraud and traced out Syed Haneef Shanu who was behind the posts on Facebook. On November 28, Shanu was arrested from his house in Guntakal town, and also traced Kiran Kumar.
Mahabubnagar Superintendent of Police Rema Rajeshwari said that Shanu was operating under the pseudonym of Dr Anand from Vizag and posted messages on various websites offering huge amounts of money to kidney donors. Syed Hanif Shanu, hailing from Guntakal, worked as a security supervisor in Bellary where he met a person named Kumnari Busappa, a security guard who also hailed from Guntakal. Taking advantage of their friendship Shanu took Busappa’s identity cards and kept with him which Busappa forgot to collect when he left the job and returned to Guntakal. Shanu also left the job later and returned to Guntakal where he opened an account in Axis Bank in the name of Kumnari Busappa using his identity cards as proof. Then he started posting message online offering money to kidney donors. If anyone contacted him he would ask them to deposit Rs 10,000 as fee in the account he opened in the name of Busappa.
Police said that five months ago Kiran found a job in Hyderabad at a call centre but the salary was very low and he as struggling to meet his expenses. While browsing, he saw the message posted by Syed Haneef Shanu and left a message that he was willing to sell his kidney as he was in dire need of money. On August 20, Shanu contacted Kiran on his mobile number posing as Dr Anand, a kidney surgeon living in Vizag and offered Rs 50 lakhs if he donated his kidney. He asked him to deposit Rs 10,000 initially and gave an account number of Axis bank’s branch at Guntakal. Kiran mortagaged his gold chain at a private firm and withdrew Rs 10,000 which he informed his friends was needed to join a skill development training course at Vizag. He deposited the Rs 10,000 in Shanu’s account who promptly went incommunicado. Realising that he fell into a trap, Kiran went into a depression and tried to commit suicide by consuming a detergent liquid but was saved by his friends who took him to his house in Mahbubnagar on November 23.
The next morning, Kiran decided to go to Guntakal to search for Shanu and left home. He took a train to Secunderabad and from there to Guntakal from where he was found by police.