Kidney racket to the fore in Vizag, nephrologist held

Commissioner of Police Mahesh Chandra Laddha giving details of the kidney racket to the media in Visakhapatnam on Thursday | Express VISAKHAPATNAM: An illegal kidney transplantation case came to light following arrest of a nephrologist of Sradddha Hospital here and an ayurvedic doctor from Bengaluru on Thursday.

According to City Task Force police, 34-year-old Manjunath, an ayurvedic doctor from Bengaluru, acted as the broker between the kidney donor and Sraddha Hospital while nephrologist Dr D Prabhakar performed the medical procedure. The racket came to light following a complaint lodged with Maharani police station by the donor, 32-year-old Thamaballa Pardhasaradhi of Kukatapalli in Hyderabad, alleging that he was paid only `5 lakh as against `12 lakh promised by the broker for donating his kidney to the patient, who was identified as BS Prabhakar.

The agent, Venkatesh of Bengaluru, who played a role in procuring the donor, is absconding.
Addressing the media, Commissioner of Police Mahesh Chandra Laddha said that Pardhasaradhi, who was in a financial crisis, saw an online advertisement for kidney donors and immediately offered to sell his organ through an agent.

Manjunath, who allegedly had a ‘tie-up’ with Sraddha Hospital and brokered deals between it and donors, contacted Dr Prabhakar and told him about the Hyderabad man’s willingness to sell his kidney.
“They struck a deal for `23 lakh — `12 lakh payable to the donor and `11 lakh to the doctor. After this, the donor went to Benguluru to undergo blood tests. After transplantation process was carried out at Sradhha Hospital on July 17, 2018, Pardhasaradhi was paid only `5 lakh,” the city police chief said. To facilitate the illegal kidney transplantation, the racketeers created a fake Aadhaar ID of the donor and changed his name to VS Parathasaradhi, to give the impression that he was the brother of the patient.

After realising that he was taken for a ride by the broker, Pardhasaradhi approached Maharani police, who registered a case under Sections 18 and 19 of AP Transplantation of Human Organs Act. According to police investigation, Sraddha Hospital performed 10-12 kidney transplants in 2017.
“We are verifying whether all the previous transplants were done legally or not. In another 2-3 days, we will gather all the details and take action against the hospital management and all those involved in the illegal organ transplantation,” Laddha said.

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