Probe into illegal kidney transplants Surgeons made $1m from 40 clients
LAHORE: The illegal kidney transplant business at a small house in Ameeruddin Park in North Cantonment had been thriving since December 2010, Cantonment SP Syed Amin Bukhari told Dawn on Wednesday.
Thirty-five of the 40 people who underwent kidney transplants were foreigners, mostly Arabs, and the doctors and their assistants doing this illegal business made $1 million from their clients, said Bukhari.
About their modus operandi, the police official said the accused would pick their foreign clients from the Allama Iqbal International airport and take them to their Ameeruddin Park ‘clinic’ in tinted glass vehicles. Tinted glass vehicles were used to pick and drop the foreign clients so that they do not know about whereabouts of the ‘clinic’ and the doctors don’t have to face any action if any transplant goes wrong.
The doctors charged at least $35,000 from foreigners for each kidney transplant and Rs250,0000 each from local clients. The police estimated at least $1,000,000 charged by doctors from all 40 local and foreign clients on the basis of the record seized from the house during and after the raid and interrogation of the accused.
The police seized travel documents of the foreigner ‘arrested’ from the house and made some corrections in their investigation record about his name and country. The foreigner was identified as Abdullahi Halane, a national of Somalia and not of Indonesia as mentioned earlier. Halane had agreed to pay Dr Imranul Haq $30,000 for his kidney transplant. Though police have taken Halane into custody, his name would be added to the FIR in the light of a report of legal experts. Halane was visiting Pakistan on a family visit visa for 45 days that was valid till October 3.
The police probe showed that kidney surgeon Dr Sanaullah of the Lahore General Hospital purchased a villa in Model Town of Lahore for Rs24.4 million a month ago. Police raided his Model Town villa two days ago to arrest him but found no one there.
The police on Wednesday added section 11 of the Transplantation of Human Organ Tissues Act 2010 to the FIR registered on July 1 under sections 334, 511, 109 and 342 of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of Muhammad Riaz, the donor who was found at the illegal clinic under the influence of anaesthesia during the police raid.
The investigators have so far found that Mayo Hospitals senior registrar Dr Imranul Haq was the man who was running the illegal set up. He later engaged Dr Sanaullah, Dr Mubashar Hameed of the Services Hospital and some assistants.
Muhammad Anees, who was earlier introduced to police as a doctor, was an assistant having no relevant qualification.
Bukhari said police were collecting evidence to ensure that all people involved in the scam do not go unpunished. He said a legal process had been initiated to attach Dr Sanaullah’s Model Town villa to the government treasury if he was not arrested.
He said Dr Imranul Haq had agents in some Arab states who traced people with failed kidneys and directed them to Pakistan.
Similarly, he hired Muhammad Younas in Lahore to find kidney donors. He said Dr Sanaullah and Dr Imranul Haq had been doing this illegal business in various localities of the provincial capital in the past.