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Fugitive kidney racket kingpin Amit Kumar held

The kidney racket kingpin has been arrested from a guesthouse on the Nepalese side of the border with India, reports Anirban Roy. Two weeks to get him

world Updated: Feb 08, 2008 00:38 IST
Anirban Roy

The fugitive kidney racket kingpin, Amit Kumar, was arrested on Thursday from a guesthouse on the Nepalese side of the border with India, the day after Hindustan Times said in an exclusive report that he was in Nepal.

Kumar was reportedly arrested from a wildlife resort in the southern town of Souraha, which is 60 km from the border with India. He is understood to have checked into the resort with an accomplice on Thursday morning. Nepalese minister of state for home affairs Ram Kumar Choudhury confirmed the arrest. He told a TV news channel: “He was arrested at around 5 pm and is being brought to Kathmandu.”

A top government source said in New Delhi, “We will have no problem bringing him back to India.”

Kumar has been on the run after the police raided his hospital in Gurgaon for running an international racket in kidney transplant. Investigators have said around 500 such operations were performed at this hospital.

Kumar associates would dupe or force poor labourers from nearby areas into donating their kidney, for rich recipients from all over the world. At the time of the raid, three Greek nationals were awaiting transplants.

Investigators have long suspected that Kumar may have fled the country. And possibly made his way to Nepal where he had business links. Kumar had reportedly been staying at the wildlife resort in Chitwan since the last two days. Police sources said, “He was possibly trying to go back into India through Bihar.”

Kumar was staying there with his accomplice Manish Singh. Witnesses said that he had asked for a copy of Nepalese English daily Himalayan Times which had front-paged an article on kidney racket. He cut out that article and returned the paper. Witnesses also said that the kidney kingpin was wearing a hat and sunglasses. Shortly a police team arrived asking for Kumar.

The receptionist confirmed having a guest matching the description given by the police team. Singh managed to escape, but leaving Kumar could not.

The police found on him a bank draft for 9,36,000 euros and US $1,45,000 in cash, as well as some Nepalese currency. He was arrested and taken to a town called Hetauda, from where he would be brought to Kathmandu.

A worldwide red corner alert notice had been issued for his capture by the Interpol on the request of the Indian government. Investigators here suspected that Kumar might flee the country and try join up with his family in Canada. The Hindustan Times has in the last few days written extensively on the doctor’s house in Canada and published exclusive photographs as well.