KOLLAM: An organ transplant mafia that reaped rich dividends by trading in the kidneys of poor donors has been busted by the Kottarakkara police.
The gang extracted up to Rs 10 lakh each from needy patients and paid only half of it to the donors. The surgeries were done in some prominent hospitals in Ernakulam in collusion with the doctors, it is learnt.
The police on Wednesday arrested three of the gang members-- R. Ajayan, 46, of Mangalath Veedu at Muthupilakkad, Sasthamkotta; M. Ramesh of Placheri Charuvila Veedu at Valakkodu, Punalur; and R. Ratheesh of Chaithram Veedu at Karunagappally.
Their modus operandi was to identify kidney patients and potential donors and extort money by forging the documents to conduct the transplants.
The gang collected the details of kidney patients from dialysis units in various hospitals and advertisements seeking donors in newspapers and social media. A sum of Rs 10 lakh was demanded for a kidney while the potential donors from destitute families and alcoholics were offered Rs. 5 lakh each. The police suspect that the gang has extorted money from nearly 100 patients and forged the documents. They also accepted lakhs of rupees as advance amounts from several patients.
The incident came to light when the gang approached the office of Kottarakkara DySP for a clearance certificate by producing a fake document in the name of a panchayat president for the kidney transplant of a patient hailing from Prakkulam, Anchalumoodu here.
"The document was found to be fake. The gang had collected advance amounts from many patients who still await the organ. The police are probing the role of doctors and hospitals in the organ trade," S. Nazarudeen, Kottarakkara DySP, told DC.
The gang received an advance of Rs. 2 lakh each from several prospective kidney patients, according to the police.