Nepal puts kidney scam kingpin on Delhi flight

February 9th, 2008 - 7:55 pm ICT by admin  

Kathmandu/New Delhi, Feb 9 (IANS) Under pressure from Indian authorities, Nepal Saturday deported kidney racket kingpin Amit Kumar to India after revising an earlier decision to try him in Nepal for violating local laws.

He was expected to arrive in New Delhi around 7.30 p.m.

Indian embassy officials in Kathmandu told IANS that Amit Kumar, held in the custody of Nepal Police since his arrest from a holiday resort in southern Nepal Thursday, had been handed over to a team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that had flown to Kathmandu soon after the arrest.

The team along with the 43-year-old Ayurvedic doctor flew back on the Air India flight IC 814 to New Delhi.

CBI officials said Amit Kumar would be immediately taken into custody and arrested. He is likely to be taken to Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh or Gurgaon in Haryana Sunday.

Nepal’s surprise decision came under immense pressure from Indian authorities, officials said.

Earlier, Nepal Police said Amit Kumar would be produced in a Nepalese court Sunday and charged with violating the Foreign Currency Regulation Act.

The charge was meant to keep him in police remand till investigations were completed.

However, a change was seen when Peace and Reconstruction Minister Ram Chandra Poudel, the senior most minister in the cabinet after Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, said Saturday afternoon that the government was consulting legal experts and could waive the charge against Amit Kumar in Nepal.

“Since he is an Indian citizen and did not commit any crime in Nepal, we could deport him to India,” Poudel had said.

Though a cabinet meeting was to have decided the issue Sunday, Indian authorities pulled a major victory by persuading Nepal to part with Amit Kumar before that.

According to informed sources in New Delhi, Amit and six others are expected to reach the Indian capital by 7.30 p.m.

Earlier, CBI Director Vijay Shanker told IANS: “Amit Kumar is likely to be brought to India tonight (Saturday).”

CBI sources said its two inspectors completed formalities in Nepal.

Sources in the external affairs ministry said formalities of handing Amit Kumar over to Indian authorities were done. They said the Nepalese government had agreed to hand him over to the Indian officials in the afternoon.

Amit Kumar, alias Santosh Rameshwar Raut, the man allegedly behind 600 illegal kidney transplants, was arrested Thursday evening from a hotel near the India-Nepal border and taken to Kathmandu early Friday for interrogation.

Amit Kumar and his associates allegedly obtained kidneys illegally, often through force, from poor people and then transplanted them to needy patients who could pay their exorbitant charges.

The ring, which served clients from Britain, the US, Greece, Lebanon, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, was busted Jan 24 in Gurgaon, a booming suburban town of Delhi.

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