Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 30:
A three-member team of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Odisha that had left for Seven Hills Hospital at Vishakhapatnam on Thursday in connection with its investigations into last year’s alleged kidney sale racket in Cuttack returned here yesterday after seizing several documents related to kidney transplants done at the hospital.
The team also interrogated some doctors and higher officials of the hospital, sources said.
Sources in the ED said the team is scanning the documents in a bid to unravel the names of persons from top to bottom involved in the organ sale racket adding that the ED will trace the money trail in the racket.
The ED strongly suspects that some doctors of the Seven Hills Hospital connived with middlemen to exploit poor people by luring them with money to donate their kidney at cheaper prices, the sources revealed.
Sources said that preliminary investigations revealed that since 2010 till date more than 30 patients from Odisha had got kidney transplants at the hospital. Documents are being verified to find out whether those were conducted legally or illegally, sources added.
Two alleged cases of kidney sale had come to fore in Cuttack last year in the months of April and May making waves in the state.
In two separate cases, some middlemen had allegedly lured two women Padmini Nayak and Namita Nayak of Nayak Sahi in Mangalabag locality of Cuttack city to part with their kidneys against promises of lucrative amounts of money. However, the two women were not paid the amounts promised to them by the middlemen.
After the matter came to light, the Commissionerate police first arrested one Sharmista Nayak, who had acted as a broker in these transactions, her husband Dillip Nayak and another middleman Niranjan Choudhary alias Nirakar. Later it also arrested brother of a kidney recipient, his friend and a director of Seven Hills Hospital N Pravakar Babu.
Mysteriously, the Commissionerate Police had closed its files and winded up its investigations in a serious matter like kidney sale without taking it to its logical conclusion.
Considering the seriousness of the matter the ED has begun investigations into the matter on its own after about one year of the incident coming to light.
Suspecting that it could be part of a nationwide racket in illegal organ transplant, the ED’s three assistant directors have formed a team to investigate the case.
Sources said the ED will not only probe the Cuttack case, but also other kidney transplants carried out at Seven Hills. The ED will also interrogate persons arrested by police.