SHADMIA'S WORLD

Just Another Guy with Opinions

Doctor Arrested in Kidney Scam

Posted by shadmia on February 8, 2008

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Dr. Amit Kumar aka Dr. Santosh Raut, 40, was arrested in Nepal. He is the suspected mastermind behind an illegal organ-trafficking ring in which hundreds of kidneys were either bought or stolen from poor Indians to be sold to wealthy clients for transplantation. The Indian press had dubbed him “Doctor Horror”. Indian police say Kumar’s wife and two sons live in the Brampton suburb of Toronto, Canada. The Toronto Star newspaper said that Kumar and his wife bought a house there last April for $610,000.

The following video was made before his arrest.

The international police organization Interpol issued arrest notices for Kumar and his brother Jeevan Rawat, 36, last week for “illegal transplanting of kidneys, cheating and criminal conspiracy,’‘ according to the report.

Over the past eight years, about 500 people were forcibly operated on and their kidneys were “transplanted to foreign patients in a secret operating theater,” AFP said, citing an Interpol statement.

Police have been chasing Dr. Kumar, who is not a licensed surgeon, since 1993 when he was accused of running an illegal kidney racket in Mumbai. In this latest scam, which included his brother, who is still wanted by the police, and another doctor, who is under arrest and cooperating with the police, they preyed on poor day workers. The workers would congregate at central points where they hoped to be offered daily work. Kumar and his cohorts would target these men and offer them work. Instead of giving them a job they would coerce the men into selling their kidneys and in some cases forcibly remove their kidneys and either threaten them or bribe them not to report it.

“We have taken your kidney,” a masked man told Mohammed Salim, a poor day laborer, when he awoke after his surgery in agonizing pain. “If you tell anyone, we’ll shoot you.”

Dr. Kumar was arrested in the jungle resort in Chitwan by Nepalese police said Kiran Gautam, police chief in Chitwan district, about 100 miles south of Kathmandu. Gautam said police have been looking for Kumar since reports surfaced in the Indian media that he might have fled to neighboring Nepal. Police were able to identify him because his photographs had been published in newspapers and broadcast on Indian television channels, Gautam said. Dr Kumar was being taken to the capital, Kathmandu for questioning. Indian officials say they will start extradition proceedings as soon as possible.

Two weeks ago, Gurgaon police raided a home belonging to Kumar on the outskirts of Delhi, where they found a hidden state-of-the art operating room in which many of the surgeries took place. In total, about 600 kidneys were forcibly taken or purchased from victims, then transplanted into the bodies of wealthy Indians or foreigners. Five foreign tourists, including two Americans, waiting for kidneys were found in what police described as a “luxury guest house” owned by the doctor. A waiting list of about 30 foreigners from at least five countries was also discovered.

In the scheme that was a highly profitable operation, victims were paid up to $2,500 per kidney for which wealthy clients were charged about $30,000. While the low cost of medical care in India has made it an increasingly popular destination for foreigners in need of everything from tummy tucks to heart surgery, the Gurgaon kidney transplant racket shocked the country, sparking debates about medical ethics and organ transplant laws.

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The stories of three Indian men, pictured above – Mohammad Salim Khan, 33, Shakil Ahmed, 28, and Naseem Mohammad, 25 – victims of this racket were documented by ABC News. Click here to read their stories

 

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One Response to “Doctor Arrested in Kidney Scam”

  1. Todd said

    I just read Anita Badami’s “The Hero’s Walk” and ended up here whilst searching for data on illegal organ transplants. Thanks for the knowledge, this is a truly disturbing phenomenon.

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