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Organ trafficking ring`s detainees narrate harrowing tales

By Mohammad Asghar 2016-10-20
RAWALPINDI: Mohammad Ijaz, a brick kiln worl(er, was brought to Rawalpindi from Sahiwal by an organ trafñcking ring operating in the city and was one of the 24 people detained in a multi-storey building in Bahria Town, who were recovered by the police earlier this week.

Talking to Dawn, he said members ofthe organtrafñckingringhadtold all those detained that if they tried to escape, the police will kill them, thinking they were the Taliban.

The detainees were taken to a private hospital to test their blood and kidneysfortransplantation and then taken back to the building where they were illegally detained, he said.

The detainees were given two meals a day and were not allowed to talk to their families, he added.

Ijaz is in his 30s and was among the 24 individuals who were lured into Rawalpindi from Punjab with promises of a better life by agents about four weeks ago.

`An agent contacted me at the brick kiln I was working at and he first took me to Lahore where he recorded a statement from me on a stamped paper, saying this will help me in case the police created hurdies in Rawalpindi,` he said.

Ijaz added that he was promised tobe given Rs290,000 for his kidney and that the police had conducted the raid before the transplant could take place.

Another brick kiln worker from Sahiwal, Mohammad Bashir, told Dawn he was also brought to Rawalpindi by an agent and that he, too, was promised Rs290,000 for his kidney.

`My mobile phone was taken away a month ago, when I first came here, and so was my CNIC and the money I had on me,` he said, adding that he was worried about his family, who had no idea about his whereabouts.

Abdul Khalid is a father of seven and is a daily wage labourer from Kasur who says he left his family a month ago in search of a better job in Islamabad. He said his wife works in the fields in order to help with the expenses and had accompanied him up till Lahore on his way to Rawalpindi. She had gone back home from Lahore while he had boarded the bus to Rawalpindi.

Talking to Dawn on the phone from Kasur, Abdul Khalid`s wife said her husband had never been involved in any crime and would often travel out of the city in search of work.

She said he had told her he was going to Islamabad to deal with an important matter.

`He did not tell me nor the chil-dren that he was going to sell his kidney or that he had been jobless for while,` she said.

Abdul Khalid and the other detainees were produced before the court of Area Magistrate Naveed Iqbal Tarar on Wednesday to record their statements under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

An investigation team was formed by City Police Officer Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi to investigate into the organ trafficking case, which is headed by Senior Superintendent of Police CIA Maria Mahmood and includes SP Saddar Iftikharul Haq, DSP Saddar Inspector Tahir and SHO Rawat Inspector Javed Akhtar.

The police have also arrested four suspected members of the organ trafficking ring operating in Rawalpindi, all of whom have been sent to jail on judicial remand, though the four doctors of the private hospital who are nominated in the FIR are yet to be arrested.

SP Haq said raids were being conducted to arrest the doctors, who are missing since a case was registered against them.

`A letter has been written to the secretary health and other concerned authorities to initiate an inquiryinto the illegalkidney trade while the DCO Rawalpindi has been requested to seal the private hospital,` he said.