Staff Reporter

Police believe that the arrest of a ‘link man’ from the North could provide vital clues

HYDERABAD: The gang of five members arrested by the city police on Monday in the kidney transplantation racket spread its tentacles as far as Delhi, it is learnt.

Netaji, a person hailing from Koili village on Delhi-Agra highway, had brought two patients from Delhi to Hyderabad. He contacted members of the gang here and got the kidneys transplanted in a city hospital after they arranged donors. Compared to the money given by patients hailing from Andhra Pradesh, Netaji paid a hefty sum of Rs. 3 lakh per patient to the gang.

Modus operandi

The gang retained half the amount and passed on the remaining to the donors. Police believe that Netaji had collected some more money from the patient towards his share and his arrest might throw up leads about the possible connection of the racket to other cities, including Delhi.

Meanwhile, police stumbled upon startling facts during investigation into the racket. Scores of persons are ready to sell their kidneys. Investigators were surprised as they received continuous calls on the mobile phone of one of the arrested persons, Srinivas. “Within 10 hours, nearly 20 persons called Srinivas stating they were ready to sell their kidneys and wanted him to fix the deal at the earliest,” an officer observed.

In one case, a patient had struck a deal with an office attender, R. Ravi, to purchase the latter’s kidney but developed some infection. The patient’s kidney transplantation was being postponed for the past eight months since he was being treated for the infection. “Worried that he would have to pay more if Ravi chose another person, the patient is paying Rs. 2,000 a month to him to keep the deal alive,” sources explained.

R. Ravi and two others, M. Ravi Kiran and V. Venu, were approached by brokers who offered Rs. 1 lakh each for selling the kidney. Incidentally, brokers met all the three of them when they went to a hospital in Punjagutta to sell their blood. With Rs. 2,500 monthly salary it was difficult for R. Ravi to make ends meet.

Desperate situation

“I urgently needed money to pay room rent and went to the hospital to sell my blood. That was when the broker met me asking to sell my kidney and I agreed,” Ravi said .