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Esther Theophilus: Nigerian Kidney Fraud Victim Returns Home Four Years Later

Esther Theophilus, a 24-year-old Nigerian pharmacist who traveled to India in July 2014 for a kidney transplant, has left the country after futilely waiting for a kidney donor for nearly four years. Esther couldn’t get the kidney transplant and got stuck in the country, as the person who promised the transplant was part of a kidney racket busted by the police.

The stay of Esther in the country, also became illegal as she failed to get herself registered with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) owing to her poor health. The diabetic mother of the sick lady who was hoping to get the kidneys and return back to her, passed on few months ago and this influenced her decision to return back to the country to see her mother for the last time.

Esther’s request to return to the country was however difficult for Mumbai Police to process, 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.

“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).

She got her exit permit on Thursday and flew out on Friday morning.

“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.

“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” said Theophilus.

After a major kidney racket was busted in city’s Hiranandani hospital, Esther then got to know that the person she had given money to for a kidney was probably part of the group. She lost a huge amount to this fraudster, police sources said.

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