Alleged leader of kidney transplant ring in Nepal sent back to India

Sunday, February 10, 2008

KATMANDU, Nepal -- The alleged leader of a syndicate accused of illegally removing hundreds of kidneys, sometimes from poor laborers held at gunpoint, was deported from Nepal to India on Saturday, officials said.

Nepalese authorities handed over Amit Kumar to Indian officials who had been seeking his extradition since he was arrested Thursday at a jungle resort in neighboring Nepal, said Upendra Aryal, a top police officer in Nepal's capital city of Katmandu.

Authorities had been searching for Kumar since last month when he fled after police said they broke up the kidney transplant racket they claimed he ran from an upscale New Delhi suburb.

Police were also investigating whether Kumar was involved in illegal kidney transplants in Nepal, Aryal said.

Indian authorities declined to comment on the case Saturday.

Police in India have said Kumar headed an illegal organ transplant ring based in the New Delhi suburb of Gurgaon. Authorities believe his group sold up to 500 kidneys to clients who traveled to India from around the world in the past nine years.

Police said they raided the operation's main clinic in Gurgaon in January and broke up the ring, which officials claim spanned at least five Indian states and involved at least four doctors, several hospitals, two dozen nurses and paramedics, as well as a car outfitted as a laboratory.

Subsequent raids allegedly uncovered a kidney transplant waiting list with 48 names.

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