Medico-social worker at Victoria Hospital key player in kidney racket

Extorted money from recipient if donor was not near relative

Medico-social worker at Victoria Hospital key player in kidney racket

Police have stumbled upon some startling evidence in the kidney racket that surfaced in Ramanagar district in July. They found that the documents needed to get approval for kidney transplant were forged and the donor’s photograph morphed to prove him/her related the recipient. A medical social worker at the state-run Victoria Hospital here played a key role in the forgery.

Fifteen people have been arrested in connection with the racket and 12 cases registered at the Magadi police station. More arrests are likely in the days to come.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, the investigation officer in the case said: “We have seized the documents from the organ donation department at the Victoria Hospital and are scrutinising them. We’ve got some credible leads.”

Vinod Kumar, a medical social worker at Victoria Hospital, and two others — Tousif, a native of Tarikere in Chikkamagaluru district, and Srinivas, from Shivamogga, — are said to have played a key role in the racket.

How the racket worked

Doctors would send the documents related to kidney transplant to Kumar who would forward them to the Institute of Nephro Urology. Officials in the institute would again scrutinise the documents and send them back to Kumar to forward them for police verification.

Meantime, Kumar would get to know from his sources whether or not the donor is the applicant’s relative.

If no relationship is established, he would demand money from the applicant. If the applicant failed to pay up, he would threaten to curtail the whole process. If he got the money, he would forward the application to the jurisdictional police station for spot verification.

The role of Tousif and Srinivas was to create fake voter’s identity cards, ration cards and other necessary documents. They would morph the photograph of the actual donor and paste it on the documents of one of the applicant’s relatives. They also arranged for a family photograph which would have the actual donor instead of the fake donor mentioned in the application. All these documents were prepared meticulously so that the actual donor is proved to be related to the applicant. Police would then verify the documents before forwarding them to the officials concerned.

A senior police officer said that they were investigating how the jurisdictional police station verified the documents. “The 15 people arrested in the case are from various parts of Karnataka. We are investigating whether they are involved in more such cases.”

Besides, a team of investigators is tracking people who have donated kidney illegally. “The racket seems to be spiralling upwards as more cases are coming up. Cheating cases are also being reported. A man has lodged a complained at the Tavarekere police station that a unknown person promised to get him a kidney, took Rs five lakh from him and disappeared. We are trying to trace such people too,” the officer added.

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