Punjab busts gang trafficking kidneys to wealthy clients

LAHORE: Caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab Mohsin Naqvi on Sunday claimed that the police have apprehended gang members involved in conducting over 300 unlawful kidney operations.

Mr Naqvi told a press conference that Fawad Mukhtar, who led the gang, and his co-accused had been arrested and the police team that did the job would be awarded a cash prize of Rs500,000.

He said the main accused unlawfullyextracted the kidneys of 328 people and transplanted them to his rich clients.

Mr Naqvi said that the suspect, who had been arrested at least five times in the past, had confessed to performing 328 such operations and this number might go up as interrogation was underway.

The chief minister claimed that Mukhtar`s assistant was basically a mechanic who would administer anaesthesia to the victims.

The gang, reportedly active in the areas of Lahore, Taxila and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, conducted kidney operations at homes instead of an operatingtheatre atahospital. The CM said local patients would be charged Rs3 million and foreigners Rs10 million for a kidney transplant.The CM said the notorious surgeon was arrested multiple times, but each time he managed to secure bail and resumed the illegal business.

However, he vowed that the government would ensure proper prosecution so that there was no need to arrest him for the sixth time. `The chief secretary and his team are working and the prosecution has been directed to submit a strong challan with the court,` he said, adding that the policemen who helped Mukhtar escape last time had been `suspended`.

The matter to hand over the case to the FIA would be discussed, Mr Naqvi said.

In reply to a question, the CM said three deaths had so far been confirmed due to the so-called operations conducted by Mukhtar`s gang.

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