NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police on Friday blew the lid off a kidney trade racket at the prestigious Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, arresting two of its secretarial staff and three touts.
Aditya Singh, 24, and Shailesh Saxena, 31, are aides to a senior nephrologist, police said. Aseem Sikdar, Satya Prakash and Devashish Moulik, all in their 30s, lured needy people with money in exchange for their kidneys. A donor was paid Rs 5 lakh while the accused charged the recipient Rs 25-30 lakh. The police have detected five cases so far.
Sources who did not want to be named said hospital staff were aware of the illegal trade and did not rule out the involvement of senior doctors.
“The touts would get donors from West Bengal, Kanpur, Delhi and Chennai and put them up in hotels here. They got each donor tested to check if he was a match for the recipient. After that, they forged documents to establish the donor was a relative of the recipient,” said DCP (southeast) MS Randhawa.
Under the transplantation of human organs Act, only a relative can donate a kidney. If a match within the family isn’t found, a non-relative can be a donor provided it is proven the deal is not commercial and is on compassionate grounds. All hospitals have a system of checks to ensure the donor and recipient are related or that no sale is involved.
In a statement, Apollo said the arrested staff members were “secretarial staff of some doctors” and “not employees of the hospital”.
“While all precautions were taken, it appears fake and forged documents were used for this racket with criminal intent. The hospital has been a victim of a well-orchestrated operation to cheat patients,” it said.
DCP Randhawa said a trap was set after the police received information that the gang would be coming to Apollo on Thursday (June 2) for a meeting between a donor and the relatives of a patient. “We formed two teams and conducted a raid, arresting the three gang members on the spot. A case under the human organ Act has been registered against them,” he said. Fake voter ID cards and Aadhaar papers along with photographs were recovered from their possession. The police also seized original and electronic files, CDs and documents from the hospital.
“Detailed documentation and verification must be done before each transplant. Willingness of the donor, relationship with the recipient, proof of address and marriage, clearance by the hospital’s internal authorisation committee is required. The whole procedure must be videographed,” said Randhawa.
“But in this case, hospital authorities failed to verify these documents, which were fraudulently made. The men affixed photographs of donors in the forms but filled in the details of the recipients’ relatives.”
Insisting it has always ensured all due process as per law is followed, Apollo said, “The hospital… has an independent body with external members also for according consent for any transplant surgery. This committee goes through all documents necessary to ensure requirements under the Act are complied with.”
It said it was cooperating with the investigation and providing the police with required information.