Busted Delhi Organ Racket: Doctor, Middlemen Exploited Bangladeshi Patients

Busted Delhi Organ Racket: Doctor, Middlemen Exploited Bangladeshi Patients

Written by Watchdoq Newsportal. July 09, 2024

Delhi, India - A dark underbelly of the healthcare system has been exposed with the arrest of a doctor and six others allegedly involved in an organ trafficking ring. Police say the racket, operating since 2019, targeted vulnerable patients from Bangladesh for illegal kidney transplants in Delhi hospitals.

Dr. Vijaya Kumari, a 50-year-old kidney transplant surgeon at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, stands accused of being the sole medical professional collaborating with the gang. Suspended from the hospital, Dr. Kumari is believed to have performed 15-16 illegal transplants between 2021 and 2023 at a private hospital in Noida, Yatharth Hospital, according to The Indian Express.

The racket's modus operandi involved luring Bangladeshi patients desperate for kidney transplants.  A network of middlemen, including Kumari's associates, enticed these individuals with the promise of medical care in India.  However, the reality was far more sinister.

Police investigations revealed a chilling system of exploitation.  Donors, primarily from Bangladesh, were reportedly offered a meager ?4-5 lakh (US$5,000-6,200) for their organs, while recipients were charged an exorbitant ?25-30 lakh (US$31,000-37,000). This vast price disparity highlights the desperation of the donors and the greed of the perpetrators.

To bypass the legal requirement of a blood relation between donor and recipient, the network allegedly resorted to forgery.  Fake documents purporting to show a familial connection were created, using forged stamps and claiming affiliation with the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi.

Dr. Kumari's role within the racket raises serious ethical concerns.  Having risen through the ranks at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, she allegedly shifted to a fee-for-service model, allowing her to operate outside the hospital's direct oversight. This arrangement may have facilitated her involvement in the illegal transplants.

Officials at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital have distanced themselves from the incident, claiming they provided information to police during the investigation. However, Dr. Kumari's past association with the hospital raises questions about potential red flags that may have been missed.

Meanwhile, Yatharth Hospital, where the illegal surgeries allegedly took place, claims Dr. Kumari was a visiting consultant who performed transplants only on patients she brought herself. The hospital further asserts that no Yatharth Hospital patient was involved and only one surgery by Dr. Kumari had been conducted there in the past three months.

The investigation has so far led to the arrest of seven individuals, including Dr. Kumari, three Bangladeshi nationals apprehended last month, and Indian accomplices involved in the recruitment of donors. Police suspect a larger organized crime syndicate may be behind the racket and are digging deeper to expose the network's full extent.

One key element in the investigation is the recorded statement of a victim under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). This statement, admissible as evidence in court, provides crucial details about the victim's experience and the forged documents used to facilitate the illegal transplant.

The medical records from Yatharth Hospital, along with passports, diaries, and a register seized from the arrested middlemen, offer further evidence of the racket's operations. Passports belonging to both donors and recipients, along with financial transaction records, paint a disturbing picture of exploitation and profit-driven healthcare.

The Delhi organ trafficking case exposes a deeply disturbing trend. It highlights the vulnerability of individuals seeking medical care, particularly those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and foreign countries. It also raises questions about the potential loopholes within the healthcare system that can be exploited by unscrupulous individuals.

As the investigation continues, authorities are tasked with dismantling the entire network and ensuring justice is served for the victims.  Additionally, a thorough review of existing regulations and oversight mechanisms within the healthcare system is necessary to prevent such tragedies from happening again. Source: moneycontrol