Human kidney stolen at gunpoint
It used to be that stand and deliver meant a robber wanted you to handover your money, but the stakes in armed robberies can now be much higher. We reported on the disturbing trend during this global recession for the impoverished to sell their organs, such as kidneys, as a means to survive. The trade in organ harvesting from ‘commercial living donors’ as they are euphemistically termed, is thriving. However, one group in India decided that having to buy organs from the poor was way too expensive and that robbery was far more profitable.
Mr Salim, a poor labourer from the north Indian town of Meerut, was lured to Delhi on the promise of work two years ago but instead had his kidney removed at gunpoint.
“This experience has haunted me 24 hours a day ever since. I’m always tense now,” he said.
Mr Salim was a victim of an alleged multimillion-dollar kidney transplant racket run by a phoney surgeon named Amit Kumar who is now in jail, awaiting trial with eight co-accused.
Last week the Herald revealed Indian investigators believe Mr Kumar bought properties in NSW and Queensland with the proceeds of illegal transplants. Mr Kumar had many foreign clients and legal sources say ‘a lot’ of Australians paid him for an organ, although that has not been officially verified.
Indian police say Mr Kumar and his associates preyed on men like Mr Salim to ensure a reliable supply of kidneys for well-to-do clients. As a labourer he is desperate for regular work so he can feed his five children.