HYDERABAD, Jan 8, 2016:

A 22-year-old student from southern India was arrested for allegedly playing a significant role in an international kidney-selling racket, police said on Thursday.

After selling one of his own kidneys for 500,000 rupees (RM32,500) in December 2014, Kasparaju Suresh, who was studying hotel management in Hyderabad, allegedly became an agent, persuading 15 people to sell their own kidneys.

“He (Suresh) wanted to lead a lavish life by making money by selling his kidney,” said S. Sudhakar, a senior police officer from Nalgonda district in Telangana state.

“After learning the tricks of the trade, Suresh became an agent himself.”

Potential donors were tested in Gujarat or Maharashtra states before being trafficked to Sri Lanka where the operations took place, Sudhakar said.

Three hospitals in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo are suspected to be involved in the illegal trade, police said, with potential donors lured through social networks such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

Three others were also arrested in relation to the case, named as Md Abdul Hafeez, Palem Mahesh and Kothapalli Naresh, all aged in their twenties and thirties.

Recipients of the kidneys were charged 2.7 million rupees for the transplants, police said.

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