The Nepalese police have intensified the hunt for Jeevan Rawat, the brother of the alleged kidney transplant racket kingpin Amit Kumar, who was arrested from a jungle resort in Chitwan district last week and deported to India.
Media reports here suggest that the person accompanying the kidney racket kingpin in the jungle resort was none other than Rawat. One of the hotel employee claimed that the person who managed to escape when the police nabbed Kumar was his brother Rawat.
The Himalayan Times daily quoted a hotel staff as saying that the person with whom Kumar was living was Rawat, who was recognized by the employee based on his pictures available on the Internet.
However, Metropolitan Police Crime Division (MPCD) Senior Superintendent of Police Upendra Kanta Aryal has denied the report, saying that the person who was accompanying Kumar was Ramesh Thapa, an employee of the disgraced kidney racket kingpin in Gurgaon. Thapa managed to escape from the resort.
Rawat was allegedly looking after the post-operative works in the Star Max Life Care Centre in Gurgaon. He had also gone in hiding along with his brother after the Indian police busted the multi-crore kidney scam last month. The Interpol had issued Red Corner notices against Kumar and Rawat on February 1.
Kumar had tried to bribe the police to evade arrest at Sauraha. "We could easily avoid arrest in India after providing some thousands of rupees to the police. Take Rs 1 crore, which I have now and I will send you more money as I reach India," a policeman quoted Kumar as saying in a report by The Kathmandu Post.
According to the police, foreign currency of Euro 145,000, USD 18,900 and an Indian bank draft of Rs 936,000 were seized from Kumar's possession.
According to Nepal Police Sub-inspector Raju Sharma, who arrested the kidney racket kingpin along with Sub-inspector Chima Bahadur Tamang and Constable Milan Gurung, Kumar urged them to take all the money he had and free him.
"When I tried to handcuff him, he offered Rs 1 crore to let him go free," Tamang said.
According to Sharma, Kumar claimed that he was not arrested in Haryana as he had bribed the police force there.
"When we were driving through the forest, he asked us to take the dollars he had," Sharma added.
"The Nepalese government can do nothing about the kidney case. But they can take action for illegally possessing foreign currency," Sharma quoted Kumar as telling them.
Police investigations have showed that Rawat was also in the jungle resort of Sauraha on the day his brother was arrested. But he was not with Amit in the same hotel, the police said.
Rawat, who can speak fluently Nepali, had been given the responsibility of finding a land or a suitable building for a hospital in the Himalayan nation.
The Nepal Police sources last week had said that MPCD had obtained two SIM card numbers used by Rawat. Though police chief Aryal refused to confirm it, he said the investigation team was working on it.
Aryal said the police is also searching for Kumar's agent Pankaj Jha, who allegedly lured many Nepalese to India to sell their kidney.
The CBI has started investigations against the disgraced doctor who was deported to India last week.