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13 April 2024

Alleged kidney snatcher to appear in Indian court

By Agencies

An Indian doctor accused of masterminding a massive illegal kidney transplant racket is expected to appear in a New Delhi court later on Sunday after he was extradited from Nepal, reports said.


Amit Kumar, the subject of an Interpol alert, was flown to New Delhi late Saturday after being detained two days earlier in southern Nepal.


The 43-year-old was taken into custody by detectives of the federal Central Bureau of Investigation for questioning immediately after landing in the Indian capital.


The agency will ask a local court on Sunday for an extended custody of Kumar, television reports said.


Kumar allegedly lured or forced hundreds of poor, including many from Nepal, into giving up their kidneys. The doctor made millions of rupees by selling the organs to wealthy Indians and foreigners for transplants, reports have said.


Kumar has been charged – by the Central Bureau of Investigation – with causing grievous hurt with a weapon, wrongful confinement and fraud, an Indian Express report said on Sunday.


If convicted, Kumar faces up to 10 years in prison, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.


Kumar was using Nepal as a transit point as he attempted to flee to Canada, where he owns a home, after the long-running scam was revealed last month, police said.


Kumar maintained his innocence at a news conference in Kathmandu on Friday.


The alleged scam emerged last month when Indian police raided several hospitals and houses in Gurgaon, a wealthy New Delhi suburb.


Under Indian law, live kidney transplants are allowed only if the organ is donated by a blood relative or spouse, or if there is a swap agreement between two needy families. All transplants must be cleared by the government.


But a huge gap between demand and supply of kidneys worldwide – because of few donations – has resulted in a flourishing illegal trade. (AFP)