The Hyderabad Police on Monday busted a kidney racket and arrested a Shirdi-based doctor and three agents who were involved in the illegal trade. The gang was arranging for donors and recipients from all over the country and taking them to hospitals in Tehran and Colombo for surgeries. The gang was selling the “kidney package” for Rs 30 lakh per recipient — from arranging a donor to taking them abroad to the surgery. The gang used to lure persons in dire need of money and look for recipients at dialysis centres and approach them. The police nabbed Dr Hirdesh Saxena, the kingpin who did his MBBS and MD from Bhopal University. They also arrested K Raghavendra, who posed as Dr Sanjay Kapoor and was a donor-turned agent, A Ashok also a donor-turned agent and Sanjay Kumar Jain, a broker and tout who arranged passports. Several donors who were ready to be flown abroad were also detained.
The West Zone Team of Police Commissioner’s Task Force first arrested three kidney agents at Yellareddyguda, Hyderabad when they had gathered to exchange passports and money, leading to the arrest of Dr Saxena.
According to police, Dr Hirdesh Saxena maintained a network of agents and donors. “He was running a highly lucrative illegal trade, making up to Rs 8 lakh per kidney transplant,’’ DCP B Limba Reddy said.
“Raghavendra used to pose as a doctor and approach potential recipients at dialysis centres and convince them to get a kidney transplant abroad instead of waiting for a donor. He would also approach donors through a network of sub-agents. For this, Dr Saxena gave Raghavendra Rs 3 lakh commission per donor. For identifying potential donors and informing Raghavendra, Ashok got Rs 50,000 per person. They were luring youth through social media and sub-agents and convincing them to donate a kidney for Rs 5 lakh. They would pay Rs 5 lakh to donors with passports and Rs 3 lakh to donors without passports. Sanjay Kumar Jain was in charge of arranging passports and charged Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 per passport. Dr Saxena did this trade individually and also through another fake doctor named Ram Kumar of Chennai. He sent donors to Ram Kumar for a commission of Rs 3 lakh. Both recipients and donors were Indians but were operated upon illegally either in Iran or Sri Lanka,’’ he said.
Ten donors had been sent to Iran and Sri Lanka so far, with the target age group being 21-30 years. The police said the donors and recipients were taken on tourist visas and Lanka was a preferred location because it offers visa on arrival.
“Dr Saxena selected three hospitals — Western Hospital, Lanka Hospital and Navaloka Hospital to conduct surgeries in Colombo. In Iran, the surgeries were conducted at Tehran’s Moheb Hospital. The payment was made to person in India earmarked by the donor on the day of the transplantation and the post-operative risks were borne by the donors. The network of this trade, that has been going on since a year, spans across Karnataka, Chennai, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Maharashtra,’’ he said. They have been booked under various sections of the Passport Act, IT Act, Indian Penal Code and Section 19 of AP Transplantation of Human Organs Act-1995.