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Top Indian hospital duped into removing organs for traffickers

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NEW DELHI — A prestigious Indian hospital says it was duped by traffickers into removing the kidneys of victims believing they were relatives of needy patients, after five people were arrested for the crime.

Police on Thursday busted an illegal organ harvesting racket operating out of the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, one of city’s top private hospitals.

They have since arrested five people, including two assistants of a senior hospital doctor.

The traffickers allegedly lured poor people into selling their kidneys for 300,000 rupees ($6,080) and then re-sold the organs on the black market at huge profit.

Fake identification documents were used to fool the hospital that the victims were relatives of recipients.

Indraprastha Apollo Hospital admitted it had unwittingly removed organs from victims and said it was co-operating with police in their investigation of the alleged kidney sale racket.

“While all due precautions were conducted, the use of fake and forged documents was used for this racket with a criminal intent,” a statement from the hospital said.

“The hospital has been a victim of a well-orchestrated operation to cheat patients and the hospital.

“We urge the police to take the strictest of action against all those involved.”

Two of the five arrested suspects were personal assistants to a senior nephrologist employed at the hospital, but were not on the hospital’s payroll, the statement said.

A chronic shortage of organs available for transplant fuels a booming black-market trade in body parts in India.

Commercial trade in organs is illegal in India and transplant donations must be approved by a special transplant committee at each hospital.

Reuters

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NAC aims to bring more tourists

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KATHMANDU — Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) — the national flag carrier which bought two wide-body aircrafts — is exploring new destinations in Europe, North America and South East Asia to bring in more tourists to the country.

The NAC, with the new destinations, expects to increase its business and carry 400,000 tourists on board the NAC planes to Nepal every year.

The NAC’s move is expected to serve largely for the government’s announcement to mark 2020 as Nepal Visit Year.

The NAC is also planning to procure narrow-body planes that would make regional flights while the wide-body planes would fly to the new international destinations.

For the new destinations, the NAC has appointed issue manager.

With the agreement, the NAC planes would make flights to 14 destinations in a week. If things go as planned, the NAC planes would fly to Narita and Tokyo in Japan, easing the tourists visiting Nepal from there.

After getting approval from Japan and South Korea for flights, the inclusion in the significant safety concern list by the EU to Nepal would remove automatically while the flights to South Korea shall open up the golden door for Nepal Airlines.

South Korea is regarded as the safest country in the world in terms of civil aviation. Likewise, the ICAO has already removed Nepal from its blacklist.

Furthermore, the NAC is preparing to operate flights to bring in tourists from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Similarly, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari has directed the NAC for announcing new business plans by targeting the Indian and Chinese tourists, realizing the crucial role of the national flag carrier to make the Nepal Visit Year 2020 a success.

“Top priority has been given to the NAC as it is the major basis to bring in tourists,” Minister Adhikari shared.

Likewise, Minister Adhikari shared that expansion of services and facilities of the Tribhuvan International Airport has been prioritized.

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