Investigation into the kidney racket, which was busted by the Kumbalgod police on December 31, has revealed that in the past two years at least 25 people were lured to either “donate” or sell their kidneys.

Superintendent of Police Anupam Agarwal told journalists here on Saturday that seven persons were arrested in connection with the racket, which is widespread in Ramanagaram district, especially in Magadi taluk.

Mr. Agarwal gave their names as K. Mahadeva alias Mahadevaiah (65) of Nayakanahalli in Kanakapura taluk, P. Gopal (40) of Vijayanagar in Ramanagaram, C.D. Srikanth (35) of Magadi, Rajanna (40) of Byatarayanapura, near the satellite bus terminal in Bangalore; Manjunath (42) of Magadi, Ranjan (58) of Basaveshwaranagar in Bangalore and Ananth (50) of Koramangala in Bangalore.

The illegal kidney transplants of at least 25 people were carried out at the State-run Victoria Hospital, and at Columbia Asia, Manipal, and Apollo Hospitals, Mr. Agarwal said.

“We will probe the role of these hospitals.” So far, no inter-State link had been established in the case. However, the matter would be investigated.