It was an innocuous disagreement over non-payment of money that blew the lid off an on going illegal organ ‘donation’ racket at South Delhi’s premier Apollo Hospital. Delhi Police arrested five persons and detained one in connection with this racket on Thursday night.Sources claim that a few days ago, police officials were made aware of disagreement between a husband, wife and a middleman over the issue of non-payment of money. 30-year-old Devashish Moulik who had sold his wife’s kidney to a middleman had not been paid his dues. This upset the wife – who was not only missing one kidney, but was also short of money upto Rs.2.5 lakh that was owed to her. Police authorities were finally involved once the middleman entered the fray. The lid off an on going illegal racket of organs finally blew once police officials understood the crux of the argument.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Since the Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA) prohibits selling organs commercially, police authorities detained Moulik where he confessed his crime and ratted out on his accomplices.According to Moulik’s confession, 37-year-old middleman Aseem Sikdar was the mastermind behind the racket. Moulik along with Satya Prakash, 30, were also involved along with Aditya Sinha, 24, and Shailesh Saxena, 31, – both personal secretaries (PS) to doctors at Apollo Hospital were also involved in this racket.The Modus Operandi involved the middlemen trying to lure unsuspecting ‘donors’ to sell their kidneys at a price between two to four lakhs. The PS would scrounge through the hospital records and supply names of recipients who were then approached with said organs. Since, the laws governing organ donation is stringent, and there is intense scrutiny on donors who are not family members, the middlemen forged paperwork to establish familial relationship between the donors and recipients.The organs were sold to the recipients at a whopping price between 25-30 lakhs. The donors were paid anything between 2-4 lakhs, the middlemen’s cut was Rs. 30,000 and the personal secretaries netted Rs. 50,000.According to the police authorities, investigation has led them to believe that “involvement of doctors or hospital management cannot be ruled out.” From this revelation it can be deduced that a doctors’ cut in this racket was a cool Rs. 20 lakh at least per organ.Allegedly, the gang have worked on at least six cases in the past couple of years. The people targeted by the gang were mostly from the lower income group residing in West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. “The gang have sold at least six kidneys so far in the city,” said Mandeep Singh Randhawa, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) – Southeast.A statement released by Apollo Hospital stated that the management was fully cooperating with the police claims that “the hospital has always abided by the law with utmost care and diligence and shall continue to do so.” Management also clarified that the secretarial staff of doctors arrested by the police are not employees of the hospital.
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