LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency, Lahore, on Sunday extended its probe into illegal organ trade and gathered evidence against four more doctors allegedly involved in the crime.
In a related development, the FIA has written to the Sultanate of Oman seeking information about the agents involved in the illegal trade.
“We have found clue to the involvement of four more doctors and as many agents,” FIA Lahore Deputy Director Jamil Ahmed Khan Mayo told Dawn.
“We have raided a laboratory opposite Jinnah Hospital and took into custody the record and other systems of the laboratory where the arrested doctors used to send samples for different blood tests prior to kidney transplant procedure,” he said.
Mr Mayo, who is investigating the scam, said the FIA had also got the information about four agents/donors through an arrested lady health visitor (LHV) who worked for the [arrested] doctors. “The names of more doctors and agents will be disclosed once the FIA lays hand on them after establishing their role in the crime,” he said.
The FIA over a week ago had arrested Dr Fawad Mumtaz, Altamash Kheral, two paramedical staffers - Umer Draz and Muhammad Shahzad - during a raid at EME society near Thokar Niaz Beg red-handed while performing kidney transplant procedure on two donors and as many Omani national recipients. Currently, they [donors and recipients] are getting treatment in Mayo Hospital. The racket has been operative in other parts of the country.
“We have written to the Sultanate of Oman informing it that the two Omani nationals are stable and under treatment. We requested that any information regarding any agent and doctor in Oman involved in this racket may be shared with the FIA,” Mr Mayo said.
The FIA has also decided in principle to take two Omani nationals into custody after they would regain health.
Meanwhile, during investigation it has been revealed that two donors - Kashif and Zubaida Bibi - lost their lives at the hands of Dr Fawad and Dr Altamash during [kidney transplant] procedure.
“Both the doctors had arranged the burial of Kashif in Bhawana, Chiniot, after declaring him ‘unidentified’. Similarly, the suspects got issued fake certificates of those foreign recipients who died during the procedure in order to send their bodies back. At least four such cases have been surfaced,” said the investigator.
FIA Punjab chief Dr Usman Anwar told Dawn that the scope of the investigation had been widened to other parts of the country and more arrests would be made in coming days.
Dr Anwar said the agency had also written to IGs in Punjab, Peshawar and Gilgit-Biltistan sharing with them details of the case and asked them to identify accomplices of the suspects.
Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2017