NEWS

Greeks linked to organ trade

Police were yesterday questioning three Greek women – a doctor and two businesswomen – alleged to have been arranging kidney transplants for Greek patients at clinics in India. The suspects are believed to have been members of a racket trawling Greek hospitals for kidney patients and sending them to India for operations that proved to be fatal in at least two cases. According to police, the patients would pay at least 40,000 euros each for the operations in India, eager to skip long waiting lists for kidney transplants at Greek hospitals. The implicated doctor is a kidney specialist at the capital’s Errikos Dunant Hospital and the two businesswomen are sisters, aged 31 and 40, who run a store selling Indian artwork in the Athens district of Ilion, police said. The elder sister is alleged to have struck up a relationship with an Indian doctor after her mother underwent a successful kidney operation in India. Since then she is believed to have been seeking Greek kidney patients and convincing them to visit clinics in Gurgaon, near New Delhi, at a profit of 10,000 euros per patient. Officers said they found 225,000 euros in a bank account in the sisters’ names. The Greek doctor implicated in the alleged scam is believed to have submitted patients to all the necessary tests before sending them to India, saying that their kidney donors were there. The patients would then pay the 40,000-euro fee to the Indian doctor conducting the operation, police said. Indian kidney donors reportedly receive between 1,500 and 2,000 euros or are forced to undergo operations, according to police. The Greek police probe began in January after Indian police staged a crackdown on clinics around New Delhi believed to be used by hundreds of Europeans, including several Greeks.