Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 15 June 2024 3.36 AM IST

Human trafficking for organ trade; racket that needs to be uprooted leaving no links behind


Organ donation should be encouraged. Organ donation and transplantation is an opportunity that modern medical facilities provide. There is no shortage of news of blood relatives donating kidneys and livers for transplants. However, organ trafficking and organ trade must be stopped at any cost. The report that many people in Kerala have become victims of human trafficking for international organ trade is shocking. Information about human trafficking for organ donation, which was going on secretly, came to light when a Malayali with Iranian citizenship was caught for human trafficking at the Kochi International Airport. The police concluded that around 50 people from Kerala were trafficked abroad for this purpose. Many of the migrant workers sent abroad for organ donation have not returned. Doubts are also raised whether they are alive.

Most organ transplants are done in hospitals in Iran. The organ racket fetches Rs 50 to 60 lakhs for bringing a donor to Iran. As more victims fell into the trap of the racket, there was a dispute between them over the sharing of profits. When the agents, who received only a small amount of money, cheated the victims without even paying the 10 lakh rupees promised earlier, the people who got scammed gave confidential information to the police. This is what led to the arrest of Sabith, the main middleman, at the Kochi airport. About 30 migrant workers have been trafficked abroad through him alone. They were mainly taken for kidney transplants. However, it is suspected that parts of the liver were also removed without the donors' knowledge.

Police formed a ten-member team to investigate the organ trafficking case. Ernakulam Rural SP Vaibhav Saxena is supervising the investigation. A medical board will also be constituted to find out which organs the victims have lost. This is a matter that needs to be investigated by central agencies that can conduct investigations at home and abroad. Sabith states that the operation of the organ trafficking mafia is centred in Hyderabad and someone there is the main link. The middleman has admitted that Shamir, who hails from Palakkad, was taken to Iran. Sabith realized the potential in this sector after selling his own kidney in 2019 and became a part of the racket.

It is also said that two people who were taken abroad have died. The police have not received more information in the case of international connection. Whatever it may be, this is a serious matter that needs to be thoroughly investigated. Iran is one of the major organ transplant markets in the West. Rich patients from other countries come here to receive organs. Meanwhile, a report has also come out that about thirty people from a coastal panchayat in Thrissur district have traded their organs, including kidneys, in exchange for money. It has also been raised that although a complaint was received about this five months ago, the police did not conduct a vigorous investigation. As the local police are limited to carrying out the investigation in this regard, it is imperative that the central agencies take over the investigation officially.

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