Kingpin of Iran-based organ trade racket nabbed from Hyderabad

The accused, who connected victims to mafia, was caught while he was planning to leave country
Police take the accused for medical examination on Saturday
Police take the accused for medical examination on Saturday Express photo

KOCHI: The kingpin of the Iran-based organ trade racket, who connected victims to the mafia was nabbed from Hyderabad on Saturday. Ballamkonda Ramaprasad aka Prathapan, 41, a resident of Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, was picked up by a special investigation team (SIT) led by district police chief Vaibhav Saxena. The accused was arrested while he was planning to leave the country, said an official.

“The arrested was the kingpin of a major organ smuggling racket operating in the country. He was the chief coordinator of organ trade. He was responsible for finding the donor, conducting medical examination and ensuring that the person was medically fit to donate organs,” said Vaibhav Saxena, Ernakulam district police chief. When we zeroed in on the accused, he was hiding in a hotel, he added.

A probe into the links of Sabith Nasar of Valappad in Thrissur in connection with the organ harvesting case led to the arrest of Ramaprasad. The accused persons in the racket are suspected to be involved in largescale kidney trade.

The accused focused on illiterate rural people and entangled them in the organ trade. They earned Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore for each organ, but only Rs 5 to Rs 6 lakh was given to the donors, said a police official. The gang mostly targeted gullible victims from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Hyderabad, and Delhi. A youth from Thirunellayi in Palakkad was the only person on the list from Kerala, he said.

Ramaprasad himself approached the racket for the first time to donate a kidney. However it failed as he was found to have contracted some diseases during medical examination ahead of the harvest.

Though his efforts to donate his kidney failed, he realised the vast opportunities of the illegal trade. Later, he made contacts with the organ trade racket and became an active link in the trade. The racket and its financial deals were centred in Iran, the officer said.

Madhu, a resident of Kochi, was leading the operations of the racket from Iran. As per reports, he had arrived in Delhi last year. The trio involving Ramaprasad, Sabith Nasar, and Madhu formed a shell company for the financial transactions, which was controlled by Sajith Shyam, who has already been detained by the police.

Explaining the modus operandi of the accused, the police officer said, the organ smuggling racket contacted the donors through social media platforms.

Later, Ramaprasad contacted the donors and sent them to Iran after completing the medical formalities. Sabith, based in Iran, received the donors and ensured that they returned home after the organs were harvested.

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