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Kidney racket
Kingpin Amit held in Nepal

Kathmandu/Mumbai/Gurgaon, February 7
Dr Amit Kumar, the alleged mastermind of India's biggest kidney transplant racket, was today arrested from a jungle resort, 60 km from the Indo-Nepal border, ending a fortnight long manhunt for the doctor who is believed to have conducted over 500 illegal operations in a decade.

Kumar (40), wanted by the police in Haryana and some other states, was nabbed from Hotel Wildlife Camp in Chitwan, 160 km from here, at 5 pm, hours after he checked in with an associate identified as Manish Singh said minister of state for home Ramkumar Chaudhry here.

The tainted doctor against whom an Interpol Red Corner Notice was issued after the massive racket with inter-state and international ramifications came to light on January 24 was being brought to the Nepalese capital for interrogation.

CBI director Vijay Shankar said in Delhi that they would approach Nepalese authorities for handing him over to India.

Kumar, who had checked into Room No. 6 of the hotel, 60 km from Raxaul on the border, was sporting a cap and had noticed a news item about him in English daily ‘Himalayan Times’ which he had cut.

Suspicious over his action, the hotel receptionist is said to have tipped off the police about his presence and was picked up in a joint operation by Interpol’s Nepal unit and the local police.

The doctor was found with $1,45,000 and a draft for 936 Euros in his possession.

Sources were quoted by the Nepalese media as saying that Dr Kumar and his Nepali associate Manish Singh checked into the room around 10 am under Singh’s name.

Soon after checking in, the duo asked to see a copy of “Himalayan Times” which had front-paged a report on the kidney racket and about the presence of the main accused in Nepal.

The sources said that Amit Kumar cut out the story and returned the newspaper to the reception. Eyewitnesses who saw Amit said that he was sporting a hat and sunglasses. They said a short while later, a police team reached the hotel and began enquiring about the guests. The policemen showed the receptionist a picture of Amit and sought to know whether he was staying in the hotel.

Even as the receptionist made a positive identification, the Nepali associate of Amit, Manish Singh fled from the hotel.

The police team then rushed to the room and formally arrested Amit, who has been on the run ever since the kidney racket was busted on January 24. He apparently did not resist when he was being handcuffed, sources said.

Meanwhile, a team of the Gurgaon police is being dispatched to Kathmandu after the arrest of Amit.

A top police official said in Gurgaon tonight that the team was expected to help the Nepalese police in expediting the process of bringing back the tainted doctor.

In another development, the Mumbai police on Thursday filed a chargesheet against Amit Kumar, alias Santosh Kumar Raut, who was earlier arrested under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act for his alleged involvement in a foreign exchange scam.

Joint commissioner (crime) Rakesh Maria said Amit was involved in a kidney transplant scam and foreign exchange violations in 2001 and was arrested from Kaushalya Nursing Home, Mumbai, after which he was granted bail by the court. — PTI/UNI




Nepal police was hot on kingpin’s trail

Kathmandu, February 7
The Nepalese police was hot on the trail of the tainted doctor Amit Kumar and had also identified the hotels he was staying in the Himalayan nation before he was nabbed following suspicions he had business links in this country.

Suspicions of Indian investigators that the tainted doctor Amit Kumar could be hiding in Nepal came true after his arrest in the Himalayan nation today, a fortnight after he absconded from India after the daring kidney transplantation racket was busted in Gurgaon.

Amit’s close friend and partner Upendra, who was arrested, possibly gave the first clues of his business links in Nepal when he claimed before the sleuths probing the murky racket that the mastermind owns a big hospital in Nepal.

Also, the police reportedly unearthed a local illegal transplant ring strengthening suspicions of possible links with the Indian doctor.

During the interrogation, Upendra said Amit had close connections with several Nepali ministers, which allegedly helped him in establishing a base there. Amit was to leave for Nepal last month to operate five Turkish patients. He was to leave for Nepal on January 26, he said.

The illegal kidney racket mastermind also had an agent in Nepal named Kavita, who was waiting for him along with five patients, he added. The Nepalese police also found a match of his passport number and the entries in the hotels he checked into, sources said.

The police sources also said Amit Kumar had received calls from three local mobile numbers.

There were speculations in the Nepalese media that Amit Kumar is in this country looking for ways to join his family in Canada or remain underground till the heat is on. — PTI




Nepal will expedite Amit: Jaiswal

New Delhi, February 7
India on Thursday hoped that Nepal would expedite the handing over of alleged kidney racket kingpin Amit Kumar, who was arrested today in Nepal.

“We hope this process is completed quickly. The speed with which the Nepalese police have caught him, we hope he is handed over to us soon,” minister of state for home Sriprakash Jaiswal said.

“We have very good relations with Nepal,” Jaiswal said, hoping that Amit Kumar would be sent back in accordance with the international agreements. — PTI



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