Special Report: Shafiq Sharif (Correspondent in Lahore)
Lahore: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Lahore has expanded the scope of investigations into kidney transplant case to other cities after the arrested accused doctors have revealed names of 25 doctors, who are involved in the illegal transplantation business in different cities of Punjab.
FIA expands scope of investigation against illegal transplantation
Highly placed sources in Federal Investigation Agency, Lahore, on condition of anonymity revealed that the record of alleged illegal human transplant in other cities was being collected to nab the organized racket of doctors and their facilitators. FIA officials said that the arrested doctors during course of investigations have revealed 25 names of doctors, who were connected to the racket and working in different of hospitals located in different areas of the Punjab. The investigations have further revealed the names of doctors, who are working for federal departments in other cities as well.
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“The accused doctors have also revealed the names of five different hospitals located in different areas of the provincial capital are also connected with the racket and they are using their operation theaters and other medical facilities for alleged illegal transplantation”, said an official of FIA who is directly involved in investigations.
Raids are being conducted by FIA to grab Doctors involved in the bad business
Deputy Director FIA Jameel Ahmed Mayo told Abb Takk News that after the raid in a house located in EME society, Lahore on Saturday, where two doctors Dr Fawad Mumtaz (a surgeon at Lahore General Hospital) and Dr Altamash Kheral (General Secretary Young Doctors Association) and their two alleged facilitators were apprehended by FIA, more people have approached FIA for actions against all the accused doctors involved in this inhuman act. Parents of one Kashif, who died in 2013 due to alleged illegal kidney transplant, have submitted an application seeking registration of an FIR against Dr. Fawwad who had done the operation which caused the death to their 19-year-old boy, the FIA official told.
Separately, he said, the FIA has arrested two more foreigners from a hotel in Gulberg area who were due to undergo organ transplant within the next couple of days. To a question, the deputy director said they have started probe into the assets of the arrested doctors as well. He further told that Health Department Punjab has been extending their full cooperation to FIA in the ongoing probe against doctors and their facilitators.
Accused doctors have their clients in various countries
According to him, so far they have come to know that these accused doctors have their clients even in America, Yemen, Palestine and few Middle Eastern countries. These doctors, he said, have been involved in the illegal business of human organ transplantation for the last several years.
This is the first case that FIA Lahore has registered against two doctors, two foreigners and two organ donors under the Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA) after Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan put the act on the agency’s schedule, a month back.
Responding to another query, Jamil said special teams have been constituted to arrest agents and other suspects involved in the illegal business.
It may be relevant to mention here that on a tip-off, FIA officials along with other law enforcement personnel on Saturday night raided a house in Lahore’s EME and found an illegal kidney transplantion in progress. FIA officials also claimed that the accused doctors, with the help of middlemen, used to arrange kidney donors at a low price and selling them to foreigners for exorbitant amounts in dollars.
The gang has already undertaken several illegal kidney transplants in the past by setting up small operation theaters in rented houses in posh localities. Meanwhile, a court on Monday handed over arrested doctors and their accused facilitators to FIA for a four-day physical remand for further investigation.