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Feb 09, 2008 at 06:16pm IST

India gets Amit Kumar, puts him on flight home

New Delhi: Dr Amit Kumar, the main accused in the nationwide kidney racket, has been handed over to a Central Bureau of Investigation team in Kathmandu and is being brought back to India.

Kumar, who is accused of performing over 300 illegal surgeries, is being brought back in flight IC 814 and will reach Delhi by 1930 hrs IST.

CBI officials said Amit Kumar would be immediately taken into custody and arrested. He is likely to be taken to Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh or Gurgaon in Haryana, IANS reported.

Kumar's deportation from Kathmandu was expedited after two senior Nepalese officials said he faced more severe charges in India.

Ram Chandra Poudyal, Minister for Peace and Reconstruction, said Kumar faces more severe charges in India and therefore his deportation would be expedited.

"We know India’s sensitivity and the deportation would be made after completing necessary legal procedures," said Poudyal at a press conference in Kathmandu on Saturday.

"I cannot tell the exact time, it may take weeks or months, but certainly not years," he was quoted by PTI as saying.

"We will also investigate whether he has links with any illegal kidney transplants in Nepal," Poudyal said. "We are having consultations with the legal experts to settle the matter through proper procedures," he said, adding the Home Minister may bring up the issue in the Cabinet meeting on Sunday.

Kumar, who was found with more than 9 lakh Euros in bank drafts and over 1 lakh dollars in cash, was charged with illegal possession of foreign currency but the Nepalese police has said that should not delay his deportation.

"Such a case is new for us. His crime is limited to possessing illegal foreign currency and he has not done any other crime in Nepal, I think his deportation will take place soon after fulfilling legal formalities here," said Nepal police spokesman Sushil Barsingh Thapa.

According to Nepalese law it is a punishable crime to carry foreign currency without prior declaration.

Kumar and his associates allegedly obtained kidneys illegally, often through force, from poor people and then transplanted them to needy patients who could pay their exorbitant charges.

The ring, which served clients from Britain, the US, Greece, Lebanon, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, was busted Jan 24 in Gurgaon, a booming suburban town of Delhi.

Kumar was arrested at a resort in Chitwan National Park, 80 km southwest of Kathmandu, on Thursday evening.

(With background inputs from IANS and PTI)

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