After media reports, Crime Branch in Kerala investigating possible kidney racket

The Crime Branch (CB) has launched a preliminary investigation following reports that scores of people in the coastal areas of Ambalappuzha in Alappuzha district had sold their kidneys through intermediaries in recent years.

Officials said that at least 24 people, including women and all from poor economic backgrounds, in two wards of Ambalappuzha South grama panchayat had “donated” their kidneys for money.

The CB has not yet registered a case. "We have not yet received any complaints. The preliminary probe is being conducted based on media reports," said a CB official.

Officials said that the investigation was primarily focused on the involvement of intermediaries. "The donors have given their kidneys voluntarily. But they have received sizeable sums of money. The probe is looking at whether the middlemen have lured them into selling their kidneys by exploiting their financial struggles. It is to be ascertained whether the intermediaries have benefited financially from the deals. If that is the case, an FIR will be registered and the matter will be pursued," the official said, adding that the lack of complaints may impede the investigation.

A deal gone wrong

Officials said that more people were willing to sell their kidneys for financial incentives. "After media reports started to emerge, we have been receiving calls from different parts of the region. In one, a woman, a divorcee, said that she recently backed out of a deal that she had struck with a middleman in Kozhikode to sell a kidney due to a lack of agreement over the amount. The woman, who has undergone medical examinations ahead of undergoing donor nephrectomy at a hospital in Ernakulam, was initially promised ₹15 lakh by the intermediary. However, the middleman later reduced the amount to ₹10 lakh, which she did not accept," said a CB official part of the investigation. The expenses for her medical tests and travel were borne by the intermediary, he added.

Officials said similar cases were reported from Thrissur and some parts of the Malabar region, with the State Crime Branch already looking into the involvement of organ transplant racket.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 3:35:25 AM |

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