Five arrested as police in India break up kidney-selling racket

Five-arrested-as-police-in-India-break-up-kidney-selling-racket.  NEW DELHI,  An organ-harvesting racket in India, selling kidneys, was broken up and five people were arrested, police said.

A kidney-selling ring in India was broken up by police, with five arrests made and an investigation of one hospital’s transplant procedures begun. Photo by Kzenon/Shutterstock

Police said the suspects were part of an illegal ring trafficking in kidneys, donated by poor people for a modest payment, and then sold on the black market for a large profit. The donors were recruited from all over the country, and brought to a private hospital in New Delhi.

The arrests came late last week.

The racket also included falsifying documents at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital Delhi, Southeast Delhi Police Commissioner Mandeep Randhawa said. Forged documents indicated donors were relatives or spouses of recipients.

“We are checking documents and trying to contact recipients. We don’t know how much money has been exchanged. We are trying to track down the recipients and going through documents to uncover this,” Randhawa told CNN, adding the ring had been operating for four to five months.

The Apollo Hospital’s investigating transplant committee, required by law for approving transplants, is under police investigation, and other local hospitals are being monitored.

The hospital-level committee can approve transplants, unless the donor is a distant relative or from outside India or the state where the transplant is occurring. A state government body, the Maharashtra Authorization Committee, said it will order new directives to hospitals to check all transplant-related documents more thoroughly.

A statement from Apollo Hospitals Group, parent company of the New Delhi hospital, cast itself as a victim of the trafficking ring in a statement, saying, “The hospital has been a victim of a well-orchestrated operation to cheat patients and the hospital.” The company promised to cooperate with investigators.

By Ed Adamczyk