Bangalore, Jan 5 (IANS) Seven people were arrested for their alleged involvement in a thriving kidney transplantation racket busted in Karnataka's Ramanagara district recently, police said Saturday.
"The seven accused - arrested under various sections of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) and the Illegal Human Organ Transplantation Act, 1994 - belong to a larger gang we are trying to crack through a special investigation team," Ramanagara's Superintendent of Police Anupam Agrawal told IANS here.
Acting on credible information and documents seized from private hospitals, the probe team first arrested two of the accused - Mahadeva and Gopal for being part of the gang allegedly involved in the kidney racket in Ramanagara and the adjacent Mandya district, about 50-100km from Bangalore.
"The modus operandi of the gang was to lure gullible persons from poor families to donate their kidney for monetary benefits at an identified hospital or nursing home. We were able to nab the remaining five accused Friday based on vital clues the duo gave us during the interrogation during the last five days," Agrawal said.
The other five accused are C.D. Shrikanth, Rajanna, Manjunatha, Ranjan (a revenue inspector from Bangalore) and Ananth (an agent).
All the accused were produced in a local court Saturday, which sent them to 10 days police custody to further investigation of the case and trace the remaining culprits of the gang.
"Though the accused were collecting Rs.5-10 lakh from each recipient of the kidney, they were paying only 10-20 percent of the amount to the innocent donors and distributing the rest among themselves and agents of the hospitals," Agrawal said quoting from the first information report (FIR) filed against the gang members.
Police suspect the gang would have carried out at least 25 such illegal kidney transplantations in connivance with agents and middlemen at various Bangalore-based corporate and state-run hospitals during the last couple of years.
"Among the accused, Shrikanth, working as a contract labour in Magadi food and civil supplies office, used to create and provide fake documents for the illegal kidney transplantation," Agrawal recalled.
The probe team seized a computer, scanner, a hard disk used to create duplicate voter identification (ID) cards from the gang.