Cops bust big international kidney racket at Mumbai airport

Sep 07, 2017, 10:58 IST | Suraj Ojha and Asif Rizvi

While kingpins received Rs 50 lakh for a transplant from Egyptian clients, they gave the donors a mere Rs 5 lakh; mastermind was running similar scam in Sri Lanka

Alleged kingpin Suresh Prajapati. Illustration/Uday Mohite
Alleged kingpin Suresh Prajapati. Illustration/Uday Mohite

The kidney kingpin of Hyderabad seems to be back in business, just a year after he was arrested for a massive kidney transplant racket through which he was trafficking Indian nationals abroad to illegally donate their kidneys. Cops busted a similar international racket at Mumbai airport on Saturday, where an arrested suspect confessed he was smuggling kidney donors to Egypt.

Also read - Hiranandani kidney racket: All living happily except me, says whistle-blower

The suspect, identified as Vruchantala Nizamuddin, was spotted at Mumbai airport on September 2. With their suspicions raised, the immigration department detained and questioned him. A search led to the recovery of three Indian passports on his person, after which the immigration officers intensified the interrogation. Eventually, Nizamuddin confessed he was there to transport kidney donors to Cairo for illegal transplants.

Who's the kingpin?
Sources said, "In the beginning, the accused did not reveal the kidney racket, but after marathon interrogations, he revealed his involvement working as a mediator to find donors. He also made their travel documents and helped them travel abroad. He was paid Rs 40,000 for each person who travelled abroad. He has confessed he was assigned to send over a dozen people to Cairo."

Also read - Hiranandani kidney racket: 3 more doctors under police scanner, face arrests

The modus operandi was all too similar to the huge kidney racket that was busted last year in Hyderabad, where Nizamuddin hails from. The alleged kingpin of the Hyderabad racket, Suresh Prajapati, was arrested in January 2016 for allegedly facilitating as many as 60 illegal kidney transplants by sending Indian donors to hospitals in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Prajapati was later released on bail. The police now suspect he might be involved this time as well.

Finding donors
According to sources, Nizamuddin had contacted Prajapati through social media in 2014, allegedly offering to sell his kidney. Nizamuddin was in urgent need of money because of losses in business and cricket betting. Prajapati offered him a job instead, promising to pay handsomely if could look for others willing to sell their kidney for money.

Also read - Hiranandani kidney transplant racket in Mumbai: What we know so far...

They hunted for donors both online and on the ground. Meanwhile, in Egypt, their counterparts searched for patients who were desperate enough to pay Rs 35-50 lakh for an illegal transplant. Each donor was paid R5 lakh for their kidney.

Nizamuddin was booked under Sections 370, 420 and 34 of the IPC. The police believe that his arrest is just the tip of the iceberg. A senior officer from Sahar police said, "At present, the investigations are at a very premature stage. Investigations are being conducted from all angles."

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Rs 50 lakh
Total charges for illegal kidney transplant

Rs 40,000
Amount the agent charged for sending each donor

Number of transplants done in Hyderabad by the kingpin in last year's racket

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