Mumbai, (IANS) In a major breakthrough, the Mumbai police have arrested five medicos, including the CEO and Medical Director of the reputed L.H. Hiranandani Hospital in Powai, in connection with a racket in kidney sales, officials said.
Hospital CEO Sujit Chatterjee, Medical Director Anurag Naik and three other medicos Prakash Shetty, Mukesh Shah and Mukesh Shetye were arrested late on Tuesday.
They have been accused of being involved in illegal trade and sale of kidneys.
They were produced before an Andheri magistrate’s court which sent them to police custody till August 13, the official said.
Earlier, an official spokesperson for Hiranandani Group told IANS that an internal probe is being conducted, and declined further comments till the investigation was over.
So far, a total of 15 persons, including the five medicos, have been arrested in the case which first came to light last month at the hospital. A few more suspected cases have surfaced later and police are probing around 30 transplants conducted at the hospital in the past one year.
Following the expose, the Maharashtra Directorate of Health Services set up a committee of medical experts which found irregularities related to at least four kidney transplant cases at the hospital.
Based on the probe report of the committee, the police arrested the five medicos of the 12-year-old, 240-bed prestigious hospital, sending shockwaves in the state medical fraternity.
The lid was blown off the racket on July 14 when a social worker, some political activists and members of a trade union stopped a kidney transplant midway here in which the donor and recipient were found to be fake husband and wife. Delving deeper, the police identified Brijendra Bisen, who created the false documents with the help of two other external agents.
Incidentally, Bisen had been earlier arrested in 2007 when one of the biggest kidney sale-transplant rackets was busted nine years ago.
In the current scam, the police had earlier arrested a total of 10 persons, including Bisen, the fake couple comprising recipient Brijkishore Jaiswal, a textile businessman from Surat, and donor Shobha Thakur, who was promised Rs 10 lakh for her kidney, hospital official Nilesh Brijkishore Jaiswal, and others.
The accused have been charged under Section 12 and 21 of the Transplantation of Human Organ Act, 1994, and the Indian Penal Code sections, said the police.