Police in Nepal have arrested five men in connection with a kidney-smuggling racket allegedly luring poor people to hospitals in India to have their kidneys removed and sold, a police official said Monday.
Among the five men, who are in their late 20s and early 40s, three were arrested in Chitwan district in south-central Nepal and one each in the capital Kathmandu and neighbouring Rasuwa district, said Prabhu Dhakal, a deputy superintendent of police in Chitwan.
The suspects were fined 50,000 Nepali rupees (456 dollars) to 100,000 Nepali rupees for finding donors who were lured into smuggling with false promises, he added.
“The smugglers made the victims undergo medical tests in Kathmandu and sent them to India for transplant,” Dhakal said.
The local police in Chitwan were spurred into action after a potential victim, who was taken to India for transplant, escaped and lodged a complaint.
Under Nepalese laws, only relatives are allowed to donate kidneys, but smugglers take advantage of the country’s porous border with India where the organs are harvested.
If convicted, the five each face a jail sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of 200,000 Nepali rupees (1,824 dollars).