The group targeted affluent patients in need of transplants and took Tk15-20 lakh for a kidney
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has arrested five people for their alleged involvement in kidney trading through social media platforms.
The arrestees have been identified as Shahrier Imran Ahmed, 36, admin of two Facebook pages for organ transplant, along with Abdul Mannan, 45, Mehedi Hasan, 24, Saiful Islam, 28, and Tajul Islam, 38.
The elite police unit arrested them from Dhaka and Joypurhat in overnight raids, RAB Legal and Media Wing Director Khandakar Al Moin told the media on Tuesday.
Preliminary interrogation revealed that Imran is the admin of two Facebook pages called ‘Bangladesh Kidney and Liver Patient Medical Service’ and ‘Kidney Liver Medical Service’ and so far, he has smuggled more than a hundred people to neighbouring countries to sell kidneys.
Meanwhile, Abdul Mannan already has six cases against him under the organ transplantation act and several cases are ongoing against Tajul Islam.
According to RAB, members of the racket communicated patients in need of kidney transplants through social media platforms and lured disadvantaged people from remote villages to become donors.
The racket, comprising at least 15-20 members, worked in groups. The one based in Dhaka communicated with affluent patients in need of kidney transplantation while the second group located donors.
Once their medical test results matched, they prepared fake documents of the relationship between the donor and patient and sent the donor to India by processing his or her passport, visa and fake documents.
Another group in India received the victim donors and carried out other activities including hospital documentation and surgery.
After completing the transplantation, the victim was sent back to the country through north-eastern border areas.
AL Moin said that after taking between Tk15 andTk 20 lakh from kidney patients, they agreed to pay between Tk 3 and 5 lakh to the donor.
“However, after paying an advance of Tk2 lakh to the donors the ring refused to pay the rest of the money after transplant, threatening them about involving them in fraud,” he said.
“No receipt of money transaction was kept to avoid facing legal steps,” he added.
The RAB spokesperson told the media that around 100 low-income people became victims of the gang.
RAB said that one of the victims complained that he was forced to donate his liver in India when his kidney was not a match for the recipient.
A RAB member seeking anonymity said that the gang arranged for Bangladeshi donors for Indian nationals and arranged several kidney transplants in Bangladeshi hospitals as well.
A patient can receive a kidney either from a close relative or from a brain-dead patient, with consent from the kin, according to the Transplant of Human Organ Act (amendment) 2018.