Kochi: Three youths, who were arrested on charge of raping a woman from Wayanad at a flat near a private hospital here, are said to have links with the organ trade mafia.
According to police, the youth, belonging to Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad district, took the woman to another private hospital in the city one month ago as part of a bid to sell her kidney. But when the doctor pointed out that she had health issues, the youths tried to make a video about her ill-health with the aim of making money from social media. Later, on September 26, she was taken to Kochi and was allegedly raped by the accused.
She was raped by the accused after making her dizzy by giving her spiked juice.
The police arrested Shamshad Wayanad, 24, of Kakkathu Parambil at Thovarimala, who claims to be a charity worker, and his accomplices Fasal Mehamood, 23, of Menakath at Rehmat Nagar and Saifu Rehman alias Shadiq, 26, of Chemmenkode at Ambalavayal, in connection with the incident. A police team led by Sulthan Bathery Deputy Superintendent of Police Pradeep is investigating the case.
The investigating team, who got all the three accused in police custody, took them to Kochi for evidence-collection. The evidence was collected from the hospital and the hotel where the accused took the victim. The survivor was earlier taken to these places as part of evidence-collection.
It was found by the police during the evidence-gathering that the statement earlier given by Shamshad was wrong. He had told the police that the woman came to their hotel room alone and the accused did not accompany her. He also objected to the claim of the victim that he was wearing bermuda at the hotel room.
But in a breakthrough, the police got the CCTV footage from the hotel that clearly showed Shamshad accompanying the victim to the hotel. It was also found that Samshad was wearing bermuda. The statements of hotel staff also went against the accused.
Later on, the police moved the custody application in the court. The accused, who were sent to police custody on Wednesday, were brought to Kochi on Thursday for evidence-collection.
The victim told Manorama Online that the accused had approached her, offering financial help to meet the medical expenses of her children. They convinced her that she could earn Rs 3 lakh from the sale of kidney and even allayed her fears over likely health issues.
Later, the youth offered Rs 5 lakh for her kidney and she agreed. Then she came along with the accused to meet a doctor in Kochi.
Another person, Anil, came to the help of the accused in Kochi. It was Anil who arranged hotel rooms for everyone. But when the doctor said that she would not be granted permission for kidney donation since she was diabetic, the accused turned violent.
According to the victim, the girl who accompanied her, saw the accused throwing away her medical file in disgust. Then, the woman and the accused immediately returned to Wayanad.
"During the first Ernakulam trip, the accused did not misbehave with me. But they fleeced Rs 18,000 from me, citing many needs. They took the money which I had got from selling my gold ring which was my only form of saving," she claimed.
But later, the accused approached her, saying that they would make a video highlighting her poor plight and raise money for her through social media. They took away her ATM card first. Then they withdrew Rs 30,000, which was given by others as charity, from her bank account.
Racket active around hospitals
The police investigating team told Manorama Online that the accused were part of the organ mafia racket thriving on the periphery of the private hospitals in Kochi city. Though the accused were not found to be involved in such cases earlier, their involvement with the kidney racket could be made out from the statement of the victim. So, the police have also started an investigation into the activities of the illegal organ trade mafia.
The Excise Department had registered a case related to spurious liquor against one of the accused.