Investigation into the inter-district illegal kidney trade busted by the Dharmapuri police early this week is likely to be transferred to the Crime Branch CID (CB-CID) in the coming days.
Informed sources said that since the racket involves doctors, hospitals, brokers and donors spread across the western districts, particularly Salem, Dharmapuri, Namakkal and Erode, it would be logical for the CB-CID to take over investigation into the case. It is learnt that the Dharmapuri district police have suggested this course of action.
Apart from the SKS Hospital and the Vinayaka Mission Hospital in Salem district, which have come under the scanner of the investigators, the police feel that kidney transplants performed at a leading hospital in Coimbatore and another in Madurai in recent years must be probed for any irregularities.
So far the Dharmapuri police have identified around 10 ‘donors’ who were lured by middlemen to sell their kidneys to renal failure patients in dire need of a kidney transplant.
Most of them were trapped by the kingpin in the racket Ayyavu and Haribaskar, a former ambulance driver, who had ferried patients for the arrested Salem-based nephrologist Dr V M Ganesan.
The police are verifying the antecedents of these donors. “Seven of the illegal donors are women. Preliminary investigations suggest that they were lured by the brokers who exploited their poverty.
The brokers had targeted women as there is a general apprehension that a person surviving with one kidney cannot indulge in hard labour. So while the men in the family were ‘spared’ to do hard work, the women were made easy targets,” a police officer said.
Besides, sources indicated that some senior officers who had served in the western region were aware of the racket but failed to crack the whip as leading hospitals were involved.
A few police officers were allegedly ‘influenced’ by the racketeers.
“The human organ trade was busted thanks to the personal efforts of the Dharmapuri Superintendent of Police Asra Garg,” said an officer unwilling to be quoted.