CBI awaiting Centre's nod to take up kidney racket probe

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New Delhi, Feb 3 (UNI) The CBI is awaiting a notification from the central government to take up the probe in the multi-crore kidney transplant racket case, agency sources said today.

However, they said the Centre would most likely issue a notification by tomorrow after which the country's premier investigating agency would take up the probe in the case.

The sources said all formalities in this regard were expected to be completed in a day or two.

The Haryana government had approached the CBI on January 31 after which the agency secured from Interpol in less than 24 hours red corner (international wanted persons) notices against Dr Amit Kumar, the main accused in the racket, and his brother and co-accused Dr Jeevan Kumar on February one.

Red corner notice by the international criminal police organisation headquartered at Lyon in France entails that all the 186 Interpol member-countries would be looking out for them.

''Many Interpol member countries view a red notice as the basis for the provisional arrest of a wanted person with a view to their extradition.'' The Interpol notice stated that Amit (40), and Jeevan (36) are wanted for crimes committed against life and health, organised crime and trans-national crime.

It said the two are both subject of national arrest warrants for illegal transplanting of kidneys, cheating and criminal conspiracy.

''The notices for Amit Kumar and Jeevan Raut were requested by Indian authorities after police discovered an illegal hospital at a house in Gurgaon near Delhi. It is believed that during the past eight years around 500 people were forcibly operated on and their kidneys transplanted to foreign patients in a secret operating theatre,'' the Interpol said and also posted photographs of the two accused on its web site.

The ''doctors'' used to sell each kidney for anything between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 20 lakh.

After the formal request and transfer of the kidney racket case to the CBI by the Haryana government, the Centre will now have to issue a notification in this regard, the sources said.

They said the red corner notices followed apprehensions that the ''doctor brothers'' have fled the country following the raids.

Amit Kumar and his brother are suspected to have fled to Canada or Europe via Nepal to evade prosecution.

''If they have not fled the country so far, the doctors may make attempts to escape through illegal channels using their foreign contacts,'' the sources added.

UNI AG MSJ AS1618

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