The Powai police on Tuesday arrested a seventh person over an illegal kidney transplant — allegedly part of a wider racket — that was halted at Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital last Thursday.
The accused is Yusufsa Bismillasa Dhiwan, 45, a lorry driver from Nadiad in Gujarat’s Kheda district. He was allegedly the link between the donor and the alleged kingpin of the racket.
A source in the Powai police said that the role of a doctor at Hiranandani hospital is being investigated. The doctor allegedly connived with Nilesh Kamble, 36, the hospital’s organ transplant co-ordinator, who has been arrested.
According to the Powai police, Dhiwan introduced 42-year-old would-be kidney donor Shobha Thakur, alias Rekhadevi Jaiswal, to Bhijedra Bisen, an agent and the alleged kingpin of the racket. Thakur, a domestic help from Gujarat, posed as the wife of Surat businessman Brijkishore Jaiswal as a kidney can only be donated by a person’s parents, grandparents, siblings, children or spouse. However, the operation was called off after whistleblower Mahesh G Tanna, 51, alerted the police, who registered a case on Thursday.
The next day, the police arrested four people — Bisen, his alleged accomplices Bharat Sharma and Iqbal Siddiqui, and Jaiswal’s son Kishan. They also booked Jaiswal and Thakur, who will be arrested once they are discharged. Transplant co-ordinator Kamble and Khwaja Patel, 66, another of Bisen’s alleged accomplices, were arrested on the weekend.
Dhiwan and the six other arrested suspects were produced in a magistrate’s court at Andheri on Tuesday, which remanded them in police custody until July 22.
The police told the court that they want to find out whether doctors or senior officials at Hiranandani hospital were also involved in the racket.
The police have also learnt that Jaiswal’s son Kishen was desperately looking for a kidney for his father when a friend introduced him to Bisen. “We are trying to trace Kishen’s friend,” added the source.
Meanwhile, whistleblower Tanna told HT, “Fearing arrest, Sunder Singh, who helped me unravel this racket, has left for his hometown in UP. His wife was being blackmailed and so he wanted to take her back home safely. He told me will return in 15 to 20 days for a press conference.”
Singh had illegally donated a kidney, allegedly with Bisen’s help, three months ago but was not given the money he was promised.
Instead, Bisen allegedly roped him into the racket. Singh told Tanna that he cleared fake documents for three such transplants and gave Tanna the documents for a fourth operation, which was halted. When asked if Singh has been made an accused, deputy commissioner of police Ashok Dudhe said, “No he has not. It will depend on the evidence we get against him in the course of the investigation.”