A Nigerian woman has fallen victim to international organ harvesting fraudsters in India forcing her to live in the country for 4 years.
A 24-year-old Nigerian woman, who had come to India in July 2014 for a kidney transplant, has been stuck here ever since. The reason: a person who promised the transplant was part of a kidney racket.
Esther Theophilus, a pharmacist, has been futilely waiting for a kidney donor for nearly four years. Her stay in the country has also became illegal as she failed to get herself registered with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) owing to her poor health. While Theophilus hoped to receive kidneys and return home to meet her mother. But her diabetic mother passed away more than a month ago.
Hoping to see her mother one last time, Theophilus approached the Mumbai police to help her return to Nigeria at the earliest. But it was difficult for cops to process her request as she has illegally been living in the country for four years. However, the police expedited her application for (exit certificate) on humanitarian grounds as her family has not performed her mother’s last rites. The police finally issued her an exit permit to Theophilus on Thursday.
Though she was highly upset and frustrated with the lengthy procedure, she was overwhelmed by the Mumbai police’s gesture. She thanked officials in the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) and plan to fly back to her country on Friday morning.
“On humanitarian grounds, we expedited the procedure to ensure that she returns to her country and attend her mother’s funeral,” said Supriya Yadav-Patil, deputy commissioner of police (SB2- FRRO).
Theophilus said, “My experience in India had been awful, especially the lengthy medical and legal systems. But unlike others, the police were very polite. They didn’t victimise me.”
Theophilus, who is a kidney patient, is married to an Australian national. She arrived in Delhi in July 2014 and first visited a private hospital for treatment, but could not be treated there. A person then suggested her to go to Mumbai where she would definitely find some donor. Months had passed, but she could not get a donor.
“I came across a person who assured me a kidney and demanded $50,000. I didn’t have so much money, so I kept looking for a generous donor but never found one,” said Theophilus.
Meanwhile in the last quarter of the 2016, a major kidney racket was busted in city’s Hiranandani hospital. After this development many groups operating illegal kidney rackets went underground. Theophilus then got to know that the person she had given money to for a kidney was probably part of one such group. She lost a huge amount to this fraudster, police sources said.
“Theophilus fell victim to an international organ harvesting fraud. Her condition was deteriorating rapidly. FRRO officials ensured she goes home as early as possible,” said her lawyer Tushar Lavhate The police decided to help her with exit papers after she narrated her ordeal.