An illegal kidney transplantation racket with the suspected involvement of some doctors and government officials has been busted by the Ramanagaram police, who on Wednesday detained at least four persons, including a tout and a Food and Civil Supplies Department official.
Even as the police are interrogating the detainees, they are probing the involvement of doctors in major hospitals, who are said to be part of the racket.
Victims of this racket, according to the police, are spread across Mandya, Ramanagaram and Bangalore districts.
The Kumbalgod police registered a suo motu case after they were tipped off.
“So far enquires have revealed the identity of six or seven poor people who were trapped in this illegal racket. But there could be more as we have caught just one tout. We suspect the presence of many more in the area,” a senior police official involved in the investigation told The Hindu.
It is suspected that patients coughed up some Rs. 20 lakh for each illegal kidney transplant and the donors were promised Rs. 1.5 lakh.
“However, many were given just Rs.30,000 and forced to shut their mouths,” the official said.
It is illegal to sell kidneys but blood relatives can donate them to patients. Touts, having clout among the residents of villages in the area and good contacts in government offices, would identify people hard-pressed for money and lure them into parting with a kidney for a price, said the official, explaining the modus operandi.
“The tout would then prepare fake documents pertaining to the relationship of the donors and receivers as well as domicile certificates using their contacts with officials at the Food and Civil Supplies Department.”
Police under scanner
Once the documents are ready, the applications are sent to the jurisdictional police, who verify it before sending it to the Karnataka State Authorisation Committee for Organ Transplants.
The role of some police officers, who verified these documents, is also being investigated.
Ramanagaram Superintendent of Police Anupam Agarwal, who is heading the investigations, confirming the racket, told The Hindu: “We are probing the involvement of doctors in major hospitals. We have made some breakthrough in this case.” He, however, refused to say more, including the identity of the officials and touts detained.