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Foreigners fly home, cops watch

The Haryana Police, it seems, are only making things easier for the mastermind of the Gurgaon kidney racket and others, report HT correspondents. Transplant of Human Organs Act, 1994

india Updated: Jan 28, 2008 02:21 IST

The Haryana Police, it seems, are only making things easier for the mastermind of the Gurgaon kidney racket and others involved in it.

First, it is suspected that someone passed on information about the January 24 night police raids on the Gurgaon clinics to Dr Amit Kumar, giving him and his close associates enough time to flee. In fact, now it is suspected that Dr Kumar may have fled the country on a fake passport.

On Sunday, the police also let Greek national Heleni Kirochi and US national Joy Mathewan, two prospective kidney recipients caught in the raids, to leave India. Both could have been good sources of information for the probe.

Manzil Saini, additional superintendent of police, Moradabad, said that Dr Kumar may have got away because someone tipped him off about the raid. “It appears so that the information was leaked. This proves that this is a well-established racket,” said Saini, whose force conducted the raids in a joint operation with Gurgaon police.

The Gurgaon police are not negating the odds of Dr Kumar fleeing the country. “We are not ruling out the possibility that Dr Kumar may have escaped abroad by using his contacts. However, he may not been able to escape the legal channels,” Mohinder Lal, Gurgaon police commissioner, told news agency PTI.

A police source said Dr Kumar had evaded arrest and believed to have fled to Canada on an earlier occasion when his premises were raided.

The mastermind’s associate, Dr Upendra Kumar, who was arrested during Thursday night raids, has reportedly revealed that Dr Kumar was in Gurgaon that day. He told police that Dr Kumar could flee India using fake passports. Police said he had four or five fake passports. “We have been told he carries a fake Indian, Canadian and Nepalese passports,” said a police officer.

Meanwhile, it was unclear why the two foreigners were allowed to leave India. Ever since the racket was busted, police had been saying that the clients would be prosecuted. A Greece embassy counsellor confirmed the exit of Kirochi : “Kirochi was here on a tourist visa.”

Kirochi and Mathewan, both of whom were admitted in a Saket hospital for treatment, could have been instrumental in assisting the police unearth the modus operandi on the international level.

“Their individual information was enough to provide ample leads to the police regarding the foreign nexus,” said a senior Haryana police official. But he agreed that there was enough indication that they willfully became a part of the crime.

“Both these hopefuls for kidney transplant had come to India for medical reasons on tourist visas, which is an indication that they were aware that they were doing something illegal,” he added.

Then why weren't they interrogated before being let off? “It would make our work more tedious,” admitted Moradabad SSP Prem Prakash. However, he expressed confidence that the CBI and Interpol were strong enough to call them back if the court required their presence.