The suspects promised to buy and sell kidneys and would cut off communication after families paid them an initial token to start the process.
The gang had a website which claimed that they had the authorisation of the World Health Organization and also misused the name of a super-speciality hospital as well as reputed doctors to lure people.
The police said“They run a cheating scam under the guise of offering kidneys to patients in need, and also offering to buy kidneys from donors. Our initial investigations revealed that they cheated as many as 200 people of anywhere between ₹50,000 and ₹60,000 each which they charged as insurance and registration fees.”
One of the victims of the scam said they offered to sell his kidney for ₹2.5 crore. After he was asked to pay 40,000 as registration fees.
The scam came to light when the victim did not receive any communication from them, after which he approached the hospital listed on their website seeking a clarification. This prompted the hospital to make enquiries.
Based on a complaint by the Director of the hospital, Dr. Shafiq M.M., the Banaswadi police tracked down the gang through their website and mobile numbers that they had published.
The accused have been identified as Esene Lovely, 29, from Edo State Nigeria; Mohamed Ahmed Ismail, 24, and Marwan Faisal, 27, both from Sudan; Herendra, 25, and Jatin Kumar, 25, from Tripura; and Kami Ranjan, 21, from Bommanahalli in Bengaluru.
The police were able to track down one of the accused, Herendra, who had given his bank account details to the victim.
“He worked in a garment factory and said the other gang members offered them 5,000 per month for sharing his bank account details to potential victims of the scam,” the police added.
The rest of the gang were arrested at a coffee shop in HRBR Layout, which they frequently visited.
Esene Lovely, Ismail, and Marwan had travelled to Bengaluru in India on a study visa but overstayed.
“Investigations are on to ascertain the total number of people they have created in this manner,” Sharanappa, SD, DCP (East Division) said.