Doctor arrested over Indian kidney racket

An Indian doctor suspected of being behind a kidney transplant racket was arrested in Nepal on Sunday and paraded before journalists in the capital, Kathmandu.

Amit Kumar (43) is accused of running a private hospital just outside Delhi which allegedly lured or forced hundreds of poor people into giving up their kidneys, and made millions by selling their organs.

Arrested in a resort 56km from the Indian border, Kumar had a bank draft for 900 000 rupees ($22 805) and a total of about $222 218 in euros and dollars. Hotel staff said Kumar kept a low profile, wearing a hat and sunglasses, but aroused suspicions by cutting out stories about the kidney scam from newspapers.

Police said he was attempting to flee to Canada where he owns a home. He was detained under Nepal’s foreign currency laws and faces extradition to India.

News of the racket emerged last month after Indian police raided hospitals and houses in Delhi.

On Sunday Kumar told Nepal 1 television: “I have not committed any crime.” He added that he was not running away and was confident he would be cleared.

Investigators said he confessed to carrying out hundreds of kidney transplants in India, where such a trade is illegal.

Police in Delhi said that Greeks, Americans and Britons had been trying to buy organs from Kumar and his team.
Kumar’s brother, Jeevan Rawat (36) is the subject of an Interpol alert and is still being hunted. - Guardian Newspapers Limited 2008

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