Kidney racket goes global: Operators take donor abroad to dodge Indian law

Hyderabad: The human organ racket, which was confined to India earlier, has spread beyond the country’s borders. With commercial donation of body parts prohibited by law, the operators have found a way to out continue with their activities. Seal the deal here and go abroad to donate organs for transplantation, seems to be the new modus operandi.

 Kidney racket goes global: Operators take donor abroad to dodge Indian law

A patient suffering from kidney ailment. AFP

The most-sought-after human organ for replacing the damaged one is kidney. There is huge commerce involved in it. Many parts of India have been rocked by the kidney rackets over the years. The latest one busted by the Hyderabad City Police on Monday is said to be the costliest. Each deal costs the recipient of a kidney a whopping three million Indian rupees.

The police have arrested four persons in this case: Hirdesh Saxena, a 60-year-old doctor based out of Shirdi of Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra; K Raghavender, 34, who also masquerades as Sanjay Kapur, of Thattiannaram in Hayatnagar mandal of Ranga Reddy district; A Ashok, 22, a native of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and a resident of Ameerpet in Hyderabad; and Sanjay Kumar Jain, 32, a passport agent from Lal Darwaza area in the Old City of Hyderabad.

When the police began to connect the dots, they stumbled upon startling information.

Kingpin Saxena, who has a postgraduate degree in medicine, spends Rs 13 lakh for the surgery and hospital expenditure outside India and Rs 1 lakh on the travel and screening charges of the patients. He gives Rs 5 lakh to each kidney donor having passports and Rs 3 lakh to donor who doesn’t possess a passport. Another Rs 3 lakh is given to the agents towards their commission. While Raghavender and Ashok, who were themselves clients who sold their kidneys through Saxena, turned into his agents to bring patients and donors from kidney hospitals, dialysis centres, etc. Jain organises hassle-free passport, travel and ticketing.

Raghavendra approaches the patients and advises them to get the transplantation done abroad instead of wasting time in India scouring for a donor. He has his own network of sub-agents who identify the donors and provide the database and also handle the field-level negotiation. Ashok is also part of the network.

The patients (the needy) and the donors are lured into the activity with the help of social media by the agents.

While the patients and the donors belong to India, the surgeries are conducted abroad. The agents would not let the recipients and donors to connect with each other and share their details. The kidney racket network has spread its tentacles to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Maharashtra. The hospitals chosen abroad for conducting the transplantation are in Sri Lanka and Iran.

Additional Commissioner of Hyderabad City Police (Law and Order) Anjani Kumar said that Saxena was not only indulging in this dubious business himself, but was also acting as a conduit to another agent by name Ramkumar of Chennai. Saxena supplies donors to Ramkumar for a commission of Rs 3 lakh.

The payment to a donor would be made in India to the person nominated by the donor on the day of transplantation which takes place either in Sri Lanka or Tehran. The donors would have to bear the expense of their post-operative care and the agents have nothing to do with that.

The donors and the patients are taken to those countries on a tourist visa. In the case of Sri Lanka, the tourist visa is given on arrival. Anjani Kumar said the arrest of three agents in Hyderabad by the West Zone team of Police Commissioner’s Task Force while they were exchanging passports and money led to the arrest of Saxena.

The Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act, 2011, which was notified in early 2014, clearly prescribes very stringent punishments for commercial dealing in human organs. Violation of any provisions of the law would attract a jail term of five years, extendable to 10 years, and a fine of Rs 20 lakh, extendable to Rs 1 crore.

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Updated Date: Feb 18, 2015 16:42:57 IST