Thursday, April 8, 2010

Organ trafficking: a black market for kidneys

Israeli police arrest suspected black market brokers, after complaints were made by unpaid donor/sellers.

Reserve general suspected of organ trafficking: Six arrested in organ-trafficking scandal after donors complain they were not paid for their kidneys
"Police have uncovered a large organ-trafficking ring that made its members millions, a court cleared for publication Wednesday.
"According to the police, the ring members advertised online offering people waiting for years for a kidney transplant an alternate solution, for the price of $140,000.
Other online ads made offers of $10,000 for kidneys. To those who remained hesitant, the suspects allegedly offered up to $100,000. However the donors were never paid.
Police were given their first clue when a 50-year old woman from Nazareth issued a complaint saying she had donated a kidney due to financial difficulties, for which she expected to receive $100,000. She said she was called in to undergo a series of tests and then flown to Azerbaijan with another donor, where she was relieved of her kidney.
Upon returning to Israel, she said, she asked those who had sent her for the money but never received it. Police launched an investigation and meanwhile received another complaint, this time from an 18-year old boy. He said he was promised $80,000 and flown to the Philippines to donate his kidney.
Superintendant Aharon Galor told Ynet, "We ran an undercover investigation and were shocked by the proportions of this. Despite the few complaints we received, we learned that there are many people willing to sell a kidney for just $10,000. These are people who have severe financial difficulties, for whom such a sum is a dream come true." "

More details here: Israel police uncovers organ trafficking ring in north
""The ring is operating throughout Israel and not only in the north, and appeals to the public through local media and internet," a police official said. "The organ traffickers somehow receive details about potential transplant candidates and they offer them their services," he said.
"The investigators said that the traffickers usually demand around 120,000 dollars for a kidney transplant. While the donors, the majority of which are in serious financial troubles, are taken advantage of and receive around 10,000 dollars. Some of them get even smaller sums, and some do not receive any money at all.
"The donors sign a contract and fill out fraudulent affidavits claiming a family connection between the donor and the recipient - a requirement in the countries where the surgeries take place.
"Afterwards, the donors undergo medical examinations where they are categorized by blood types and other medical conditions, and are then flown to countries in Eastern Europe, the Philippines, and Ecuador.
"There, the donors undergo surgery to extract their kidney, and shortly afterwards return to Israel without any medical documentation, many times suffering from medical complications. "

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