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Kidney Scam
Nepal can jail Amit in three cases
Bishnu Budhathoki writes from Kathmandu

Making public the arrest of the alleged kidney racket kingpin Dr Amit Kumar in Kathmandu, the Nepal Police said on Friday it would lodge three cases against him on the charge of possessing foreign currency illegally, carrying out human organs transplant illegally and on the basis of the Interpol red corner notice.

At a press conference held to announce the arrest of Dr Amit this afternoon, SSP Uprendra Kanta Aryal, chief of the Metropolitan Police Crime Division (MPCD), Hanumandhoka in Kathmandu, said the police would file a case against him under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act on February 10.

“The police will also file a case relating to illegal human organ transplant against him if anybody in Nepal lodges a complaint to this effect,” Aryal said. He added, “We are yet to carry out a detailed investigation into it.”

If the 43-year-old doctor is convicted on the charge of illegal human organs transplants, he would have to undergo a maximum prison term of five years and pay Rs 5 lakh in fine. Likewise, he could be jailed for four years and fined three times of the amount recovered from him in a case relating to the illegal possession of foreign currency.

A police team led by DSP Sher Bahadur Basnet of the MPCD, Hanumandhoka, apprehended Dr Amit along with one of his close aides, Manish Singh, from the Wildlife Resort, Sauraha, Chitwan, about 140 km south-west of the capital, last evening. It brought him to Kathmandu early this morning.

The police also recovered Euro 1.45 lakh and $ 18,900, besides a US travel cheque for $ 5,000 and another for Indian Rs 973,500 of the State Bank of India.

SSP Aryal said Dr Amit could be extradited to India as Interpol had already issued a red corner notice against him. “We are in close contact with the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu,” he added.

Preliminary police investigations had shown that Dr Amit came from Canada via Abu Dhabi to Nepal on December 30, 2007. He then went to India by road and stayed there before flying to Kathmandu on January 26 this year. The police claimed that Dr Amit fled to Chitwan in a taxi on February 5 following media reports in India that he was the kingpin of the illegal kidney transplant racket and was currently living in Nepal.

The police said Dr Amit was planning to set up a hospital in Nepal and was looking for suitable land on the suggestion of his brother Jiwan Kumar and his Nepal agent Pankaj Jha. “He had come to Nepal this time to escape to Canada after the Indian police started searching for him,” said the SSP.

According to the police, he was helped by Ramesh Thapa, Bishnu Khatri, Giri Dai, Heera Pun, Baburam, Sher Bahadur and Pankaj Jha in Nepal. The role of Pankaj Jha in the racket was yet to ascertained, police investigation officers said.

Investigations also showed Dr Amit had sent a accountant, Yash Pal Sharma, working in his Star Max Life Care Hospital in Gurgaon, to Kathmandu last year to buy the Badrinath Guest House at Gongabu. Sharma had even agreed to buy the property for Rs 1 million. “However, the plan was aborted later as Dr Amit failed to pay the amount on time,” Aryal further said.

According to DSP Basnet, who led the investigation team, Dr Amit sold kidneys for Rs 4 lakh to Rs 8 lakh while he paid the seller between Rs 75,000 and Rs 1 lakh in Indian currency.




He didn’t give up till the last

Kathmandu, February 8
Indian doctor Amit Kumar, the alleged kingpin in the multi-crore kidney transplant racket, tried to make ‘good use’ of the huge amount of money that he was carrying — by attempting to bribe the Nepal Police team which came to arrest him from a jungle resort in Chitwan district.

When the police arrested the fugitive doctor from a Sauraha-based Hotel Wildlife Camp on Thursday, the team was offered huge money to let him go.

A news daily reported the tainted doctor as pleading with the police not to arrest him. “I will give you Rs 20 lakh if you let me go,” Kumar was quoted as saying by hotel employee Maheshwar Regmi. — PTI




India will get him soon

New Delhi: India expressed the hope that Nepal would hand over the kidney racket prime accused Dr Amit at the earliest. “The matter has been taken up by the CBI with the Government of Nepal through our Embassy in Kathmandu. Given the nature of the case and the close cooperation that exists between legal and security authorities between India and Nepal, we expect that Dr Amit would be handed over to the Indian authorities at the earliest possible,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Navtej Sarna said in response to a question. — TNS



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