SIT traces donor involved in Kerala organ trade case

Published - June 09, 2024 01:20 am IST - KOCHI

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the illegal organ trade and the related human trafficking case has found Shameer, a Malayali donor, who was missing ever since the Ernakulam Rural police exposed the racket involved.

Though originally from Palakkad, he was settled at Pollachi in Tamil Nadu for a long time. The SIT had been trying to track him since the first arrest. However, they could not track him despite sending a team to Palakkad. He reportedly chose to lie low scared of the ramifications of the probe.

He was found outside Kerala though the police would neither reveal the place from where he was nabbed nor the time on the ground that it would affect the investigation. For the time being, the SIT is collecting as much information from him as possible and analysing it. An ultrasound scan has proved that one of his kidneys was missing thus confirming the information that he was one of the donors.

The SIT already has the custody of Ballamkonda Ram Prasad aka Prathapan, 41, of Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, allegedly the kingpin of the Hyderabad-based racket may prove helpful as they would be able to corroborate the information elicited from him during the course of the investigation with Shameer. They had found that Prathapan had arranged for sending Shameer to Iran last month.

Apart from a slight niggle to his leg, Shameer was found to be in reasonably good health. He had reportedly received ₹6 lakh as a donor though it isn’t yet clear whether it was the actual amount promised to him by the racket.

Since the police haven’t yet received formal complaints from any donors yet, it is likely that Shameer may be turned into a complainant. However, police are yet to decide the course of action over whether to arraign him as an accused or treat him as a victim. Illegal organ donation remains a crime in the country.

Apart from Prathapan, the SIT has so far arrested two other accused. Sabith Nasar of Thrissur was the first to be arrested after he was detained by the emigration officials at the Kochi airport and handed over to the police on his arrival from Iran on the night of May 21. This was followed by the arrest of Sajith Shyam of Edathala three days later.

Another accused, identified as Madhu, is suspected to be in Iran and steps are being taken to bring him back. Prathapan was in direct contact with Madhu in Iran. Those looking for organ donors were in direct touch with Madhu who then send the requirement to Prathapan.

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