• Originally a plastic surgeon at LGH, Mumtaz conducted illegal operations in private residences
• Officials say surgeries have claimed lives of several patients including foreign nationals
LAHORE: Notorious illegal kidney transplant surgeon Fawad Mumtaz, who was re-arrested a couple of days ago by Lahore police after he escaped from custody, has become a ‘test case’ for the criminal justice system and the law enforcement agencies, especially for the Punjab police.
Mumtaz has been booked and arrested several times by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Punjab police, but each time, he has managed to obtain bail and continued his illegal transplant racket.
According to his criminal record, Mumtaz has been running the largest-ever illegal kidney transplant racket across the country, especially in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir since 2009.
An official said that Mumtaz was originally a plastic surgeon at the state-run Lahore General Hospital. He was serving as an assistant professor when he was first suspended from service for conducting illegal transplant procedures.
The rogue surgeon has reportedly become a billionaire, exploiting rich clients and charging exorbitant amounts from clients — especially those from Gulf countries — to perform illegal transplant operations.
According to FIA and police investigations, Mumtaz would charge Rs10 million to Rs15 million from foreign clients/patients for each illegal kidney transplant and used to pay Rs100,000 to Rs150,000 to local donors, who his gang members would trap with the promise of employment or other lures.
The rogue surgeon would conduct the illegal transplant procedures in rented houses in private housing societies in cities across the province, it has emerged.
A few days ago, Lahore police picked him up from Taxila in connection with a case registered against him at Garden Town police station.
But shockingly, Mumtaz managed to flee from police custody, and the official explanation provided was that four of his armed accomplices attacked the police team and managed to free him.
The incident prompted caretaker Punjab chief minister Mohsin Naqvi to hold a press conference.
He told journalists on Sunday that Mumtaz has been re-arrested by Lahore police and action has been proposed against police officers who had taken him into custody before he managed to escape.
Lahore DIG Investigation Imran Kishwar told Dawn the accused was on physical remand and police were interrogating him. He said the officials responsible for his escape had been suspended from service and a departmental inquiry has been launched to punish them accordingly.
An official told Dawn that Mumtaz had a notorious criminal record spanning over a decade.
Currently, several cases are lodged against him in Lahore, Multan, Okara, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Taxila and Rawalpindi.
The last case against him was registered in Taxila, where a joint team of the Punjab Human Organ Transplant Authority and local police arrested six suspects, including doctors and paramedics, during a raid in March.
Talking about illegal renal transplant procedures, the official said that Mumtaz had performed a kidney transplant on the daughter of famous comedian Umar Sharif in Azad Jammu and Kashmir in February 2020.
During the procedure, she developed serious complications and was brought to hospital in Lahore, where she breathed her last, the official said, adding that Mumtaz received Rs3.5 million from the family to perform the illegal transplant in AJK because there were no laws to prevent illegal human organ transplants in that territory.
FIA teams had also failed to arrest Mumtaz during an earlier raid on his residence in Lahore, and consequently, the rogue surgeon had managed to go into hiding. He was arrested by FIA in April 2017, when he had carried out illegal transplant procedures on Jordanian, Libyan and Omani nationals at EME Society in Lahore for Rs6m each.
Later, FIA revealed that a Jordanian national had died during the illegal procedure.
The deceased woman’s death certificate was faked by one of Mumtaz’s accomplices, Dr Altamash Kharal, and the body was kept in another private hospital in Defence before being sent back to Jordan. At the time, FIA had recommended action against Mumtaz and his accomplices.
Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2023