Kidney racket: Gang gave undercover donor haircut, fake DNA report to pass off as recipient’s son
Jaideep Sharma, a young student, posed as a kidney donor to set a neat trap to bust this racket in New Delhi. Sharma was given a new name and made to repeatedly recite it so that he could confidently spell it when presented before an internal committee of doctors.delhi Updated: Jun 01, 2017 23:43 IST
The strength of the racketeers busted for the alleged illegal sale and purchase of kidneys in Delhi lay in their ability to convincingly pass off donors as close relatives of the organ recipients, investigators said.
They were, however, caught, when they dealt with Jaideep Sharma, a young student who posed as a donor to set a neat trap to bust this racket.
Sharma’s kidney was to be donated to a man hailing from Andhra Pradesh. The 60-year-old man has been on dialysis for the last two years. His son is diabetic, so he couldn’t donate his kidney, said police.
Once Sharma offered himself as a donor, the racketeers first prepared his fake aadhaar card, voter ID card, matriculation certificate and date of birth certificates, all of which showed him to be the recipient’s son, said Praveer Ranjan, joint commissioner of police (crime). A DNA report showing him as the recipient’s son was prepared.
In all the forged documents, Sharma was given a new name, Polepeddy Snayna Podma Phanikumar, and made to repeatedly recite it so that he could confidently spell the name when presented before an internal committee of doctors that would confirm if he really belonged to the recipient’s family.
Sharma was also made to learn the names of the recipient’s father, grandfather and great grandfather as native of Andhra Pradesh are believed to know their ancestors’ names, said Ranjan.
To pass him off as the recipient’s son who could be legally allowed to donate his kidney to him, they ensured Sharma spent considerable time with the family and trained him in Telugu accent.
“They gave him Rs 2,500 to get a haircut that would make him look like a member of the recipient’s family,” said a senior investigator. Whether the recipient was aware of all the illegal work involved in the donation is being investigated.
Sharma’s photographs were superimposed even in the recipient’s family portraits so that any cross-checking would not reveal that he did not belong to the family. “The racketeers wanted everything to be foolproof. So, they even photo-shopped the photos of the recipient’s real son so that the donor resembled him,” said the investigator.
Sharma played on all along, not giving a chance to the racketeers to suspect he was actually laying a trap. The Delhi Police team shadowing him too remained patient as they worked behind the scene to collect evidence.
But despite all the arrangements by the racketeers, police said it was hard to believe that they could pull off an illegal donation without help from insiders at Batra Hospital where the transplant was to happen on Thursday.
The joint CP said that despite the rule saying that the donor’s medical examination should be conducted at the hospital where the transplant is to take place, many tests were conducted at a diagnostic centre outside.
Moreover, Sharma had allegedly been given a list of questions in advance that would be posed to him by the internal committee of doctors.
“Sharma deliberately answered a few questions wrong, but was given a go-ahead by the committee,” said the joint CP.
The officer said that over the next few days, the hospital’s doctors and staffers would be questioned to know if and to what extent were any of them hand-in-glove with the racketeers. The hospital authorities refused to respond to these allegations.