The arrest of kidney racket kingpin Krishna alias Kidney Krishna (35), by the Ramanagaram district police on Thursday revealed that the accused had arranged 10 illegal kidney transplants in major hospitals in Bangalore for the past two years with the help of his associates, including a Revenue Inspector and a photographer, and pocketed over Rs. 1 crore.
According to the police, Krishna was picked up from his house at 8th Mile on Nelamangala Road. “We were tracking his movements as he went underground soon after his associates were arrested. However, he returned to his house a few days back thinking that the heat on the investigations was over and we tracked him down once he started operating his mobile phone,” said a police officer.
Krishna who runs a roadside eatery on Nelamangala Road was in dire need of money and came in contact with an agent who suggested to him to sell his kidney to clear his loans four years ago. Soon, he became the trusted person and started getting customers for the agent and even forced his wife to sell her kidney, the police said .
During this period, he learnt the tricks of the trade and became a full-fledged agent and managed to organise five donors and illegal transplant with the help of Srirampura-based Revenue Inspector identified as Puttabhairiah.
The modus operandi
While Krishna used to arrange the donors for the recipients, Puttabhairaiah , who works in Srirampura area , used to prepare fake family tree of the recipients for a price ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs. 1 lakh.
The accused went to an extent of forging documents beyond his jurisdiction by forging the signature of the officials concerned, the police said.
While Puttabhairiah used to prepare fake documents for the donors and recipients, Sridhar, a photographer from Basaveshwaranagar, who is part of Krishna gang, used to create photographs of the donor with the family members of the recipients.
With the arrest of Krishna and two others , the total number of arrests has gone to 13 so far and many more arrests are expected soon, Kumbalgodu Inspector Manjunath B.S. told The Hindu. Since its an organised racket, the involvement of many more people, including officials from different departments is not ruled out, he said.
The arrest of 13 people in this racket so far, is just the tip of the iceberg as there are at least 100 people involved from various government departments, said a senior police officer who is supervising the investigations.
As of now, we are concentrating on the first level of investigations by identifying the touts and government officials involved in the scam, the second level will be focussing on the police department, and doctors of the government hospitals who are in touch with the touts followed by the hospitals that are facilitating the illegal kidney transplants, Mr. Manjunath said .
The hospitals who are under the scanner are shifting the blame on the State Authorization Committee, by stating that they conduct surgeries only after getting approval from the committee, the police said.