The Financial Express

Trade in bones and kidneys

| Updated: November 20, 2020 22:17:09

Trade in bones and kidneys

A haul of a large number of human skulls and bones by the police from a house on Mymensingh's Ramkrishna Mission Road and unearthing by the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) of a kidney-smuggling ring based in the city with an extensive network emerge as blood-chilling episodes. Interrogations of the men arrested by the law enforcement agencies in separate incidents are indicative of their suspected links with international smuggling rings. The man arrested with skulls and bones has so far confessed to collecting skulls and bones from members of his ring spread all across the district. Those members allegedly dig out human remains from graveyard and take those in deep forest where they clean those before handing over to another group who bring those to the ringleader in Mymensingh. There is no guarantee that the bizarre nightly adventure is limited to the district only.

As for the organ like kidney smuggling, the entire saga so intriguing and full of suspense is clinically executed. Members of the ring develop friendship with the targeted persons -- usually young people -- and even visit their village homes once or twice in order to be in good book of members of the would-be victims' families. Then the ring members bring them with the promise of employment for drug companies to hospitals in the city's Dhanmondi after exchange of several hands for medical check-up, as reported in a Bangla contemporary. This done, a passport of each of the victims was obtained and then they were sent to a neighbouring country. There one of the kidneys was extracted for which the victim received Tk 50,000 although promised Tk 500,000 at the time of striking the deal. Here the PBI has gleaned information from a victim of Gobindaganj, Gaibandha and members of the smuggling ring were arrested subsequently.

The stories of both grave diggers and organ extraction surfaced in the past. But then the criminals used crude methods to procure their sought-after human skeleton and kidneys. The two separate groups now arrested use intrigues and well-planned methods to get the job done. However, the pandemic has had contrary impacts on them. While the lockdown may have offered a golden opportunity for skull and bone collectors, the organ traders found the time dull for their trade for obvious reasons. The former also had the advantage of selling their commodities locally besides smuggling out of the country. Travelling to India with a passport was near impossible during the past few months. The case was unravelled purportedly by the PBI in the pre-pandemic period. 

One thing is clear that criminal minds work in a diabolical way. Proliferation of kidney business had to be checked by stricter legal provisions. This was done when unsuspecting illiterate villagers were lured out to become kidney donors for money. Now subtler tactics are resorted to. How low can man stoop to make money! When fellow human beings' ignorance is taken illegal and undue advantage of like this, it is no less horrific than cannibalism. Punishment of members of the smuggling rings together with social awareness and resistance may act as a deterrent to such bizarre trades. 

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