Amit Kumar and his brother Jeewan, the absconding kingpins of the multi-million-rupee kidney transplant racket, had been held but let off by Delhi Police last month, an official said on Monday while the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) awaited orders to take up the probe.
"Harpal, Amit Kumar's driver who was arrested last week, in his interrogation revealed that sleuths of Delhi Police picked up the duo 20-25 days ago and whisked them to Connaught Place area. They later let them go," Gurgaon Police Commissioner Mahender Lal said.
"We have asked Delhi Police to inquire into it," Lal told reporters.
Gurgaon police sources said Amit alias Santosh Rameshwar Raut and Jeewan were let off reportedly after three inspectors and a constable extorted a large amount of money from them.
Harpal also revealed that Delhi Police officials had thrice taken bribes from Amit and Jeewan, which shows that they were well aware of the thriving racket in illegal kidney transplants but did not bother to act or inform the Gurgaon police, the sources said.
Delhi Police had once arrested the brothers after registering a case of an illegal organ transplant at the Nizammudin police station in 2001. The duo, however, was released on bail.
The Delhi Police spokesman refused to comment on the issue.
The clandestine racket of illegal kidney transplants, which served international clients from Britain, the US, Greece, Lebanon, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Dubai, was busted by the police forces of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh Jan 24 in Gurgaon, an emerging IT hub on the outskirts of the Indian capital.
Meanwhile, the country's elite crime investigation agency CBI was awaiting an order from the central government to take charge of the probe.
"The central government's notification is required before we begin the probe in racket. After the Haryana government's formal request, the central government will issue the notification soon," a senior CBI official said Monday.
The Uttar Pradesh and Haryana police continued searches at possible hideouts of Amit and other accused in Delhi, Gurgaon, Jaipur and Jammu and Kashmir.
Police seized Amit's three luxury cars from his Gurgaon clinic.
According to police, Amit and other quacks in his group had performed at least 600 illicit kidney transplants over the past decade for profits running into billions of rupees.
Gurgaon Police chief Lal said his officers were also investigating the suspicious deaths of three Turkish nationals at the Ballabgarh nursing home of Upendra Aggrawal, another accomplice who was arrested Jan 24 from a hotel in Faridabad.
A team of the Gurgaon police reached Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh to bring Upendra to the township.
Police officials in Moradabad said Upendra was in judicial custody since Sunday.
The police remained clueless on Amit's whereabouts though he is suspected to have escaped to Canada and might have undergone plastic surgery to evade arrest.
His family has been traced to an upscale locality in Toronto. His wife Poonam Ameet and two sons live in a newly built house on Pali Drive in the upcoming Bovaird and Airport area.
Interpol's Canada unit has arrest warrants against Amit, son of a freedom fighter, following an alert from CBI. Amit was not a qualified surgeon though he had a formal degree in ayurvedic medicine.