They were out not just for blood, but hunted hearts and kidneys too.
The six men who were arrested in the blood scam case reported from two premier government hospitals in the city—All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Safdarjung Hospital—are also suspected to be involved in the spurious organ trade, police said.
"We are investigating the involvement of these six men in the organ trade, like illicit sale of kidneys. We suspect the involvement of other hospital staff in the scam as well," said HGS Dhaliwal, DCP (south).
Police said on Thursday they got four more witnesses in the case—two professional donors and two recipients.
A day ago, police had arrested Mahesh Kumar (42), Satish Kumar (47), Kailash Singh (45), Gaurav Kumar (24), Ankur (19) and Lal Bahadur (47)—a security guard—for selling blood from hospital bloodbanks at inflated rates to needy patients.
They also procured illegally blood from unverified, poverty-struck sources, such as ragpickers and drug addicts.
Police said as of now Mahesh Kumar has emerged to be the prime accused in the case and he was the one who allegedly struck all the major deals at the two hospitals.
"We have located a donor and recipient each at both Safdarjung Hospital and AIIMS," said Dhaliwal.
"These persons told us that the accused asked them to donate blood for a sum of Rs 700 each, without even making them go through proper medical check ups and screening of blood."
Police said on Thursday they collected records from both the blood banks at the two hospitals and would analyse them further.
The three mobile phones seized from the six accused contain scores of phone numbers of doctors and other staff posted at AIIMS and Safdarjung hospitals.
"Many numbers in the phonebook of the accused are either switched off or not reachable. Soon after the scam was exposed the people suspected to be behind the network have gone underground."
"Kailash and Mahesh were actively involved in the kidney transplant racket and were arrested in 2004 and 2006 in cases," said Dhaliwal.
The officer added they were investigating further to unearth the nexus between blood bank administration, security staff and Sulabh International's staff— an NGO— is being probed.