The kingpin arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police in connection with an international kidney racket had been nabbed earlier by Delhi Police in 2016 in a similar scandal, according to police officers involved in the investigation.
The Kanpur Police's Crime Branch has so far arrested 12 people, including the CEO of PSRI hospital of Delhi and a transplant coordinator of Fortis Hospital of Faridabad after busting the racket.
One of the arrested kingpins T Rajkumar Rao had earlier been arrested by the Delhi Police in 2016 in connection with a similar racket operating in the national capital.
Six more people have been found involved in the racket, but are yet to be arrested, the officer said.
"So far, we have arrested 12 people who were involved in the international racket of kidney transplant," Superintendent of Police (Crime) of Kanpur police, Rajesh Yadav said told IANS.
He said Sonika Dabas, who worked as a transplant coordinator at Fortis Hospital, Faridabad, was arrested on Monday while Deepak Shukla, CEO of PSRI Hospital in south Delhi, was arrested on Sunday last.
"The kingpins of the entire racket, Gaurav Mishra and T Rajkumar Rao, were arrested earlier," Yadav added.
"We have identified six other persons who are private surgeons, urologists, and pathologists in connection with the racket. The accused played a role as middlemen in striking kidney transplant deals," the SP said.
He said the police teams are raiding all possible hideouts to arrest them.
"The leading hospitals of South Delhi and adjoining districts are under our lens. We have quizzed dozens of doctors in Delhi-NCR. We are trying to establish the origin point of this racket to know the number of innocent victims duped by them," the officer said.
"So far, the accused persons have disclosed that they were running this racket for the last six months and trapped innocent and poor people of rural areas of Uttar Pradesh as donors. Gaurav Mishra illegally removed their kidneys on the pretext of giving them Rs 3 to 4 lakh for per kidney," Yadav said.
"There were fixed charges for hospitals to sell kidneys between Rs 12 to 25 lakh each, depending on the financial condition of patients and their family members. The accused would strike deals with foreign patients who came for treatment from the Gulf countries," he said, elaborating on the modus operandi.
Four such victims from Lucknow have been traced, the SP said, adding as the probe progresses, the number of victims may increase.
Sonika Dabas was arrested after she appeared before SP-Crime Office, who was heading the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case.
She had appeared before the SIT on Monday and faced intensive questioning in the sensational racket, which was busted in the city in February and spreads across Turkey and the Middle East countries, Yadav said.
Earlier in 2016, the Delhi Police had busted a similar kidney racket in the national capital and had arrested five persons. Two of the arrested persons were personal assistants of a senior nephrologist at Indraprastha Apollo hospital.
The other three arrested included T Rajkumar Rao who has now been arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police.
He had allegedly confessed before the Delhi Police in 2016 that besides India, the racket spanned several countries, including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Indonesia, another officer said.
It was reported at that time that he had conned at least 15,000 poor people to build a business valued at Rs. 75 crore, enabling him to buy properties in several big cities. Rajkumar has reportedly "confessed" to having supplied kidneys to 15 other hospitals in the country.
"There was enough evidence to prove the involvement of Dabas in the racket. A kidney transplant took place at her hospital in Faridabad and she also took a large amount of money from the recipient," the SP said.
Deepak Shukla was arrested by the police after he was brought for questioning to Kanpur.
The international kidney racket came to light on February 17 when a victim approached the Uttar Pradesh Police about the wrong done to him in PSRI Hospital.
The police arrested Gaurav Mishra of Lakhimpur Khiri, T Rajkumar Rao of Kolkata, Shailesh Saxena of Badarpur in south Delhi, Saboor Ahmad of Kakori in Lucknow, Vicky Singh of Panki in Kanpur and Shamshad Ali of Chowk in Lucknow, Shyam Tiwari and Ramu Pandey in the case and others.
(Sanjeev Pal can be contacted at Sanjeev.firstname.lastname@example.org )
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