Organ Trade in Iran: Kerala Agent Held, Hunt for Hyderabadi Doctor

The arrest of a man in Kochi has brought to light an international human trafficking racket with links to Kerala, which allegedly trafficked Indians to Iran for the removal of their organs.
Organ Trade in Iran: Kerala Agent Held, Hunt for Hyderabadi Doctor

The arrest of a man in Kochi has brought to light an international human trafficking racket with links to Kerala, which allegedly trafficked Indians to Iran for the removal of their organs used in a Tehran hospital. This Kerala man working in Tehran hospital trafficked more than 40 Indians to Iran for illegal kidney transplants.

From Bakeries to Organ Trade: Sabith's Crime Story:

Thirty-year-old Sabith Nasar, originally from Valapad in the Thrissur region of Kerala, was stopped at Kochi International Airport shortly after landing from Iran. Investigations are emerging that several young people from Hyderabad and Bengaluru in precarious economic situations were allegedly brought to Tehran to provide kidneys for transplants.

As per the information collected by the officers, Sabith had been working in bakeries since 2017, after securing a diploma in civil engineering. He later moved to Kochi and took up various jobs before relocating to Iran in 2019 to assist patients with organ transplants at a hospital in Tehran. Sources said during his time in Iran, Sabith began arranging donors for kidney transplants and got involved in the organ trade network. He then established connections with a Hyderabad native for kidney trade in Sri Lanka and a Kochi resident, they said.

Kerala SIT Hunting for the Mastermind in Hyderabad:

A Hyderabad-based doctor is suspected to be the mastermind of the international kidney racket busted in Kerala. According to the statement given by Sabith Nasir, who was caught at the Kochi airport, it seems that three brokers from Hyderabad are handling this racket. A special investigation team (SIT) led by Ernakulam Rural SP Vaibhav Saxena is probing the case in Hyderabad.

The ongoing probe revealed by the arrest of Sabith Nasir , has uncover that the network operates through five distinct layers. In India, the racket's activities are largely confined to the last two layers, comprising agents and brokers. Meanwhile, central agencies have traced the investigation to a medical doctor in Hyderabad. Given the international scope of the offence, the case will soon be transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) soon. 

Organ Trade Racket Reveals Iranian Ties:

Some of the young people were admitted to a private clinic in Tehran where they 'donated' their organs. They were then treated for three days and once discharged housed for a further 20 days in a flat before being taken on a flight back to India. Some of them, however, would never return from this journey, losing their lives in the operation.

Sabith Nasar has confessed that the organ trafficking mafia is based in Hyderabad and he is the main link to Kerala. It is also suspected that many of the victims are still languishing in Iran or other transit countries such as Kuwait. Investigations revealed that the victims were given less than 600,000 rupees, while the organ mafia received up to ten times that amount for each operation. The arrested man allegedly trafficked at least 20 people in the last five years.

Iran is a crossroads of international organ trafficking with patients also coming from other countries for transplants outside the legal channels. In addition, health reports reveal that there is a high prevalence of chronic kidney disease in Iran among people aged 20 and above. Hence the local demand for donors.

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