Monday, May 20, 2013

5 Are Convicted in Kosovo Organ Trafficking

Here's the story from the NY Times: 5 Are Convicted in Kosovo Organ Trafficking

"Five people were convicted Monday in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, in connection with an elaborate organ-trafficking network that lured poor people to the country to sell their kidneys and other organs to wealthy transplant recipients from Israel, the United States, Canada and Germany. Organs sold for as much as $130,000 each.
"The defendants, all Kosovars, were tried before a panel of two European Union judges and one Kosovar judge. A special prosecutor for the union, Jonathan Ratel, called the case a landmark because doctors had been convicted.
“The sole and driving motive for this exploitation of the poor and the indigent was the opportunity for obscene profit and human greed,” Mr. Ratel, the prosecutor, said Monday. “In every sense this was a cruel harvest of the poor.”
"According to the indictment in the case, traffickers in the network promised payments of up to $26,000 to poor people in Turkey, Moldova and Russia to persuade them to travel to Kosovo and donate an organ. They were asked to sign false documents saying they were donating to a relative for humanitarian reasons.

"Two dozen donors were taken in by the scheme; many were never given any compensation and were released without adequate medical care."
"Mr. Ratel said the Dervishis were aided by Dr. Yusuf Sonmez, whom he called a notorious international organ trafficker. Dr. Sonmez is a fugitive and may be in South Africa, Mr. Ratel said."

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