'Dr Kidney' taken to Kathmandu for interrogation

Updated on Feb 08, 2008 12:47 PM IST
Amit Kumar, who had been on the run since last month after his illegal kidney racket came to light, was arrested in Nepal on Thursday.
HT Image
HT Image
IANS | BySudeshna Sarkar, Kathmandu

As dawn was breaking on Friday over the picturesque district of Chitwan in south Nepal, a police team escorted Indian fugitive Amit Kumar, who had allegedly masterminded a massive illegal kidney transplant racket spanning several countries, to Kathmandu for fresh interrogation.

"The police team left for Kathmandu at four in the morning," Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Kiran Gautam told IANS.

"They reached the capital around 7 am. Amit Kumar is now in the Hanumandhoka police station for fresh interrogation," he added.

Amit Kumar, who had been on the run since last month after his illegal racket that duped hundreds of victims into parting with their kidneys for a pittance came to light, had sneaked into Bharatpur, the main town in Chitwan Tuesday, Gautam said.

The Indian, for whose capture the Interpol had sounded a red alert, had come to the Terai town by road from Kathmandu.

In Kathmandu, on the basis of telephone calls, police traced him to the five-star Radisson Hotel, where he had stayed Jan 28.

Gautam said: "We had alerted our informers that Kumar could try to hide in Chitwan. We were tipped off Thursday that he had checked into the Wildlife Lodge in the Chitwan national park. Our team went there around 5 pm and arrested him from the lobby."

He said Amit Kumar appeared to be composed when police accosted him.

"He was asked if his name was Amit Kumar and he answered in the affirmative," Guatam said.

Amit Kumar told the police he had come to Chitwan to explore the possibility of opening a kidney transplant centre there.

He was found carrying a small fortune in foreign currencies as well as a bank draft.

Gautam said police found that Kumar had made out the draft to himself for Indian Rs.936,000. He was also carrying 145,000 euros (about $215,000) and $18,900.

The DIG said that contrary to media reports, Kumar alone had been arrested and sent to Kathmandu for further investigation.

Media reports on Friday said Kumar could have been accompanied by two accomplices, one of whom could be a Nepali.

The trio, the Kantipur daily said, had checked into another hotel earlier but moved out of it when they found their room did not have a television set.

Kumar was said to have been scanning the news anxiously for any reference to his escape to Nepal, an anxiety that gave him away.

After he checked into Wildlife Lodge, he reportedly clipped out the front-page report carried by the Himalayan Times daily on Thursday, saying police had traced him to the Radisson Hotel in Kathmandu and his agent in Nepal had been identified as a man named Pankaj Jha.

The lodge staff became suspicious at this and informed the police, the daily said.

Kumar's arrest could pave the way for more arrests. Nepal police will investigate if he is involved in any case in Nepal.

Last year, Nepal police busted three major kidney transplant scams in which the victims were taken to Chennai, Chandigarh and Lucknow with promises of lucrative jobs, which were a façade for making them part with a kidney for meagre sums, often as low as Nepali Rs 15,000 - less than Rs 10,000 in Indian currency.

If Kumar is linked to any of them, he will be tried in accordance with Nepal's laws in the Himalayan state first.

Only after the legal formalities are complete in Nepal is he likely to be handed over to the Indian authorities.

Given the snail's pace at which Nepal's judiciary works it could be months before his trial begins in Kathmandu.

Due to the high profile of the accused, he is unlikely to be released on bail and is likely to be lodged in the Hanumandhoka cell or Kathmandu's central jail while the investigation is completed and the trial takes place.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • A view of the exposed riverbed of Yangtze river on a hot day in Chongqing, China, on Wednesday. (REUTERS)

    Climate crisis: China hit by worst heat wave in decades

    A scorching heat wave, the worst in six decades, sweeping China has dried up rivers and reservoirs, threatened crop yields and forced industries to shut down and ration electricity. One of the regions hit badly by the heat wave is China's southwestern Sichuan province, which has shut down factories for six days to ease a crippling power shortage.

  • With Sunak showing little sign of making inroads, Truss is the hot favorite to become the party’s and the country’s next leader.

    Rishi Sunak losing UK prime minister race, trails Liz Truss by 32 points

    Liz Truss led Rishi Sunak by 32 points in the latest survey of UK Tory members by the ConservativeHome website, suggesting she remains on track to win the race to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister. Some 60% of the 961 Tory members polled by the influential website said they favored Truss to become the Conservative Party's new leader, while just 28% backed Sunak, ConservativeHome said on Wednesday.

  • Afghanistan, where Taliban are ruling now, however, is yet to meet the expectations of both China as well as Pakistan on many counts.

    China wants military outposts in Pakistan to safeguard its investments

    Having made significant investments in the conflict-prone Pakistan-Afghanistan region as part of its hugely ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, China is planning to protect its interests in the two countries by stationing its own forces in specially created outposts, according to top diplomatic sources. Pakistan, where according to some estimates the Chinese investments have risen above USD 60 billion, is largely dependent on China not only for financial but also military and diplomatic support.

  • US Representative Liz Cheney at an election night event during the Wyoming primary election.

    Republican leader who voted for Trump's impeachment loses Wyoming primary

    Cheney will now be forced from Congress at the end of her third and final term in January. Far, US President Donald Trump's has helped install loyalists who parrot his conspiracy theories in general election matchups from Pennsylvania to Arizona. With Cheney's loss, Republicans who voted to impeach Trump are going extinct. Democrats across America, major donors among them, took notice. Trump earned nearly 70% of the vote in 2016 and 2020.

  • Former US President Donald Trump.

    Trump says FBI returned his passports: 'Unfortunately, they just grabbed…'

    Former US president Donald Trump on Wednesday said that the department of justice and the FBI returned his passports seized during the raid at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida last week. Trump said on Tuesday in a statement in a Truth Social post. On Monday, he alleged that the federal law enforcement agency “stole” three passports, one of which he said was expired.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now