• Dawn PakistanDawn | October 20, 2016

    [read the article]


    By Mohammad Ashgar

    RAWALPINDI: Mohammad Ijaz, a brick kiln worker, was brought to Rawalpindi from Sahiwal by an organ trafficking ring operating in the city and was one of the 24 people detained in a multi-storey building in Bahria Town, who were recovered by the police earlier this week.

    Talking to Dawn, he said members of the organ trafficking ring had told all those detained that if they tried to escape, the police will kill them, thinking they were the Taliban.

    The detainees were taken to a private hospital to test their blood and kidneys for transplantation and then taken back to the building where they were illegally detained, he said.

    The detainees were given two meals a day and were not allowed to talk to their families, he added...

     

  • El Periodico ExtremaduraEl  Periodico | October 24, 2016

    [read the article via Google Translate/ leer en Espanol]


    The Court of Barcelona has sentenced three members of a gang of Serbian origin and a collaborator to prison terms ranging from seven years in prison and four years and six months imprisonment for trying to buy a kidney for 6,000 euros from an undocumented immigrant without economic resources. The organ was destined for one of them. When the donor withdrew their consent, for fear of the consequences of the operation, the gang, accordingly kept the tax, took him against his will to a house, where he was beaten, insulted and berated for not going through with the transplant.

    The defendants were convicted of the crime of organ trafficking (six years in prison for three of the defendants and four years for the fourth), but the court has also given them lesser sentences for other crimes, such as coercion and usurpation of civil status. And the intended organ recipient used his brother's [Spanish] residency permit in order to be treated in the Spanish public health system...

    La Audiencia de Barcelona ha condenado a penas entre siete años de prisión y cuatro años y seis meses de cárcel a los tres miembros de un clan de origen serbio y a un colaborador que intentaron comprar un riñón por 6.000 euros a un inmigrante sin papeles y sin recursos económicos. El órgano iba destinado a unos de ellos. Cuando el donante se desdijo de su acuerdo, por el temor a las consecuencias de la operación, la banda, según mantuvo el fiscal, lo llevaron en contra de su voluntad a una vivienda, donde le golpearon, insultaron y recriminaron que no siguiera adelante con el trasplante. 

    A los acusados se les condena por un delito de tráfico de órganos(seis años de cárcel para tres de los acusados y cuatro años para el cuarto), pero el tribunal les ha añadido penas menores por otros delitos, como coacciones y usurpación de estado civil. Y es que el receptor del órgano utilizó el permiso de residencia de su hermano para poder ser atendido en la sanidad pública española... 

  • Jerusalem PostJerusalem Post | October 27, 2016

    [read the article]


    By Eliyahu Kamisher

    Police arrested three suspects on Tuesday for allegedly operating a highly profitable organ trafficking network.
    According to a statement by the Lahav 433 special investigations unit, the suspects allegedly exploited low-income Israelis in need of money and convinced them to sell one of their kidneys. The suspects then located Israelis in need of a kidney and coordinated transplant operations in Turkey, pocketing hundreds of thousands of shekels in profit.

    “According to the suspicions, three suspects conspired and established an organ trafficking network, with a clear division of roles, locating and recruiting organ sellers and buyers to complete the procedure, and all this for the illegal collection of money,” the police said in a statement.

    One of the suspects, Dr. Michael Zis, had his medical license suspended about a year ago.

    Zis fled Israel for Ukraine in 2007, according to Yedioth Ahronot, after being suspected of involvement in illegal kidney transplant operations, however he was extradited back to Israel in 2009...

  • Pakistan tribuneThe Express Tribune | October 21, 2016

    [read the article]


    By Mudassir Raja 

    RAWALPINDI: The Rawat police have reportedly rounded up Dr Raja Mehmood, allegedly an active member of the organ trafficking ring busted last Saturday in Rawalpindi.

    Police investigators on Thursday produced the doctor before a court of law and obtained his physical remand for further investigation, said City Police Officer (CPO) Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi.

    CPO Abbasi said that a special police team had been formed to arrest members of the ring who are still at large including Dr Zahid Iqbal, the ring leader and owner of the Kidney Centre Hospital in Morgah, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Dr Tauseef Ahmed, and cashier Laeeq. The special team was working under the supervision of SP Saddar Circle.

    He said that the police team, on a tip off, raided a place in Morgah late on Wednesday and apprehended Dr Raja Mehmood. He was later shifted to Rawat police station for questioning...

  • Los Angeles TimesLA Times | September 15, 2016

    [read the article]


    By N.

    Seven years after leaving his village in northern India to find work in the bursting metropolis of Mumbai, Sundar Singh Jatav was struggling in a menial job at a video game shop. The $2.50 daily wage was hardly enough with his family back home deep in debt.

    So in late 2015, when his boss introduced him to a man who promised to solve his financial problems, Jatav listened — and was shocked.

    “He suggested I sell my kidney,” said Jatav, now 23.

    What happened over the next several months would upend his life — and reveal a high-level kidney trafficking network inside one of the most reputed hospitals in India’s financial capital...

  • Dawn PakistanDawn | September 16, 2016

    [read the article]


    By Naziha Syed Ali

    For a hospital, this centre for kidney transplants appears to have a lot of secrets.

    “No photography allowed”, reads a prominently displayed notice by the entrance.

    In the waiting room, an employee curtly tells the people present to not take any photographs and to switch off their cell phones. To confirm compliance, he even walks around peering over people’s shoulders.

    At least two security cameras are attached to the ceiling.

    One of the doors leading from the room bears the sign “Society of transplant physician [sic] and surgeons (head office)”...

    Read this comprehensive investigation into organ trafficking in Pakistan here.

  • Dawn PakistanDawn | October 20, 2016

    [read the article]


    By Mohammad Ashgar

    RAWALPINDI: Mohammad Ijaz, a brick kiln worker, was brought to Rawalpindi from Sahiwal by an organ trafficking ring operating in the city and was one of the 24 people detained in a multi-storey building in Bahria Town, who were recovered by the police earlier this week.

    Talking to Dawn, he said members of the organ trafficking ring had told all those detained that if they tried to escape, the police will kill them, thinking they were the Taliban.

    The detainees were taken to a private hospital to test their blood and kidneys for transplantation and then taken back to the building where they were illegally detained, he said.

    The detainees were given two meals a day and were not allowed to talk to their families, he added...

     

  • El Periodico ExtremaduraEl  Periodico | October 24, 2016

    [read the article via Google Translate/ leer en Espanol]


    The Court of Barcelona has sentenced three members of a gang of Serbian origin and a collaborator to prison terms ranging from seven years in prison and four years and six months imprisonment for trying to buy a kidney for 6,000 euros from an undocumented immigrant without economic resources. The organ was destined for one of them. When the donor withdrew their consent, for fear of the consequences of the operation, the gang, accordingly kept the tax, took him against his will to a house, where he was beaten, insulted and berated for not going through with the transplant.

    The defendants were convicted of the crime of organ trafficking (six years in prison for three of the defendants and four years for the fourth), but the court has also given them lesser sentences for other crimes, such as coercion and usurpation of civil status. And the intended organ recipient used his brother's [Spanish] residency permit in order to be treated in the Spanish public health system...

    La Audiencia de Barcelona ha condenado a penas entre siete años de prisión y cuatro años y seis meses de cárcel a los tres miembros de un clan de origen serbio y a un colaborador que intentaron comprar un riñón por 6.000 euros a un inmigrante sin papeles y sin recursos económicos. El órgano iba destinado a unos de ellos. Cuando el donante se desdijo de su acuerdo, por el temor a las consecuencias de la operación, la banda, según mantuvo el fiscal, lo llevaron en contra de su voluntad a una vivienda, donde le golpearon, insultaron y recriminaron que no siguiera adelante con el trasplante. 

    A los acusados se les condena por un delito de tráfico de órganos(seis años de cárcel para tres de los acusados y cuatro años para el cuarto), pero el tribunal les ha añadido penas menores por otros delitos, como coacciones y usurpación de estado civil. Y es que el receptor del órgano utilizó el permiso de residencia de su hermano para poder ser atendido en la sanidad pública española... 

  • Jerusalem PostJerusalem Post | October 27, 2016

    [read the article]


    By Eliyahu Kamisher

    Police arrested three suspects on Tuesday for allegedly operating a highly profitable organ trafficking network.
    According to a statement by the Lahav 433 special investigations unit, the suspects allegedly exploited low-income Israelis in need of money and convinced them to sell one of their kidneys. The suspects then located Israelis in need of a kidney and coordinated transplant operations in Turkey, pocketing hundreds of thousands of shekels in profit.

    “According to the suspicions, three suspects conspired and established an organ trafficking network, with a clear division of roles, locating and recruiting organ sellers and buyers to complete the procedure, and all this for the illegal collection of money,” the police said in a statement.

    One of the suspects, Dr. Michael Zis, had his medical license suspended about a year ago.

    Zis fled Israel for Ukraine in 2007, according to Yedioth Ahronot, after being suspected of involvement in illegal kidney transplant operations, however he was extradited back to Israel in 2009...

  • Pakistan tribuneThe Express Tribune | October 21, 2016

    [read the article]


    By Mudassir Raja 

    RAWALPINDI: The Rawat police have reportedly rounded up Dr Raja Mehmood, allegedly an active member of the organ trafficking ring busted last Saturday in Rawalpindi.

    Police investigators on Thursday produced the doctor before a court of law and obtained his physical remand for further investigation, said City Police Officer (CPO) Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi.

    CPO Abbasi said that a special police team had been formed to arrest members of the ring who are still at large including Dr Zahid Iqbal, the ring leader and owner of the Kidney Centre Hospital in Morgah, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Dr Tauseef Ahmed, and cashier Laeeq. The special team was working under the supervision of SP Saddar Circle.

    He said that the police team, on a tip off, raided a place in Morgah late on Wednesday and apprehended Dr Raja Mehmood. He was later shifted to Rawat police station for questioning...

  • Los Angeles TimesLA Times | September 15, 2016

    [read the article]


    By N.

    Seven years after leaving his village in northern India to find work in the bursting metropolis of Mumbai, Sundar Singh Jatav was struggling in a menial job at a video game shop. The $2.50 daily wage was hardly enough with his family back home deep in debt.

    So in late 2015, when his boss introduced him to a man who promised to solve his financial problems, Jatav listened — and was shocked.

    “He suggested I sell my kidney,” said Jatav, now 23.

    What happened over the next several months would upend his life — and reveal a high-level kidney trafficking network inside one of the most reputed hospitals in India’s financial capital...

  • Dawn PakistanDawn | September 16, 2016

    [read the article]


    By Naziha Syed Ali

    For a hospital, this centre for kidney transplants appears to have a lot of secrets.

    “No photography allowed”, reads a prominently displayed notice by the entrance.

    In the waiting room, an employee curtly tells the people present to not take any photographs and to switch off their cell phones. To confirm compliance, he even walks around peering over people’s shoulders.

    At least two security cameras are attached to the ceiling.

    One of the doors leading from the room bears the sign “Society of transplant physician [sic] and surgeons (head office)”...

    Read this comprehensive investigation into organ trafficking in Pakistan here.

  • The Gulf TodayThe Gulf Today | September 4, 2016

    [read the article]


    ABU DHABI: President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued Federal Decree by Law No. (5) for 2016 concerning regulation of human organs and tissues transplantation. The decree has been published in the recent issue of the Federal Official Gazette issued on Sunday.

    The decree’s provisions shall be applied on transplantation operations of organs and tissue performed within the country, including the free zones. While transfusion and transplantation of stem cells, blood cells and bone marrow are excepted.

    It aims to regulate and develop transplantation and preservation operations of human organs and tissues. It further seeks to ban trafficking in human organs and tissues, as well as protection of rights of persons who receive or give human organs and tissues. The decree also ensures regulation of the donation of human organs and tissues, in addition to preventing exploitation of the patient's or the donator’s needs...

     

  • Daily News EgyptDaily News Egypt | August 20, 2016

    [read the article]


    Police arrested on Saturday six people on charges of forming a gang specialised in trading human organs.

    A force from Cairo’s security directorate arrested a husband and wife as well as four other associates who ran the criminal ring in southern Cairo’s Basateen neighbourhood  persuading people to sell their organs for money through an unlicensed medical centre, according to a statement from the Ministry of Interior.

    The husband’s apartment was the operation headquarters of the ring where they gathered victims and provide medical care for them before and after surgeries.

    The suspects were arrested along with two donors.

     

  • Scroll IndiaScroll.in | August 3, 2016

    [read the article]


    By Sanjay Nagral

    Back in 2004, in an editorial for the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics on a kidney transplant racket, I began by saying, "In our scandal-prone Indian public life, one scandal distinguishes itself by the amazing regularity with which it hits the headlines every few years. The only variation is its shift from one city to another as if in planned rotation. Thanks to the desperation, ingenuity and collusion of the players involved, the Indian kidney bazaar, as it was crudely described at some stage in its history, refuses to die down."

    I ended the piece by offering a rather polemical solution: "The battle against this practice must be fought at two levels. The first is in the realm of the law and monitoring agencies. The second is an ideological battle against what is essentially a violation of human rights and a form of social exploitation of the worst kind. Otherwise, we will suffer the same cycle of rackets being exposed periodically."

    That statement, though not meant to be a prediction, has unfortunately turned out to be true. The latest act in this sordid saga is the one currently playing out in a Mumbai hospital. While the Human Organ Transplant Act of 1994 partly succeeded in curbing the then blatant kidney bazaar that thrived in the 70s and 80s, periodic exposés since then show that it continues in a more discreet fashion...

  • Hindustan TimesHindustan Times | August 10, 2016

    [read the article]


     Five doctors, including the CEO and the medical director of Dr LH Hiranandani hospital in Mumbai, were arrested late on Tuesday night in connection with an alleged attempt for an illegal kidney transplant, believed to be part of a bigger racket.

    Mumbai police investigating the case from last month apprehended CEO Sujeet Chaterjee, medical director Anurag Naik, and doctors Mukesh Shete, Mukesh Shah and Prakash Shetty for medical negligence, taking the total arrests up to 13.

    “Based on the report of appropriate authority today at 8:30pm, the Powai Police arrested the five doctors under section 12 and 21 of the transplantation of human organs act 1994,” said Ashok Dudhe, deputy commissioner of police and spokesperson for Mumbai Police. The accused will be produced before the Andheri magistrate’s court on Wednesday.

    According to a Powai police official, the arrest was based on a three-member state health inquiry committee report that stated a nephrologist and two urologists were negligent on multiple counts.

    Explaining the roles of the doctors, the official said, “They did not verify the documents thoroughly due to which their negligence has occurred. They should not have gone ahead with the surgery till they had satisfactory information that the donor and receipent are related. However, they have had a casual attitude and have not performed their duties properly.”...

     

New paper highlights difficulties of measuring transplant tourism

AJT logo

In a new paper in the American Journal of Transplantation, Ambagtsheer et al. (2016) "conclude that the scientific literature does not reflect a large number of patients buying organs." After performing a literature review, they document 6002 transplant tourists internationally, between 1971 and 2013, of whom 1238 reportedly obtained commercial transplants. However, in a letter commenting on the study, Ahn et al. (2016) note that Saudi Arabia alone has reported a total of 6079 patients obtaining kidney transplants abroad between 1998 and 2013. The authors of both papers highlight the difficulties of estimating global activity in commercial transplants and travel for transplantation, and the limits of literature reviews. They also emphasise the valuable roles of national and international registries and of transplant professionals in collecting and reporting data on these phenomena, as the comprehensive data published by the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation illustrates. 

The DICG is currently working with members and collaborating organizations to develop tools and guidelines that will facilitate collection and analysis of data concerning travel for transplantation and organ trafficking, in order to inform strategies to prevent harm and improve equitable access to transplantation worldwide.

Ambagtsheer, F., de Jong, J., Brame, W.M., Weimar, W. 2016. On patients who purchase organ transplants abroad. American Journal of Transplantation, 16: 2800-2815.

Abstract:

The international transplant community portrays organ trade as a growing and serious crime involving large numbers of traveling patients who purchase organs. We present a systematic review about the published number of patients who purchased organs. With this information, we discuss whether the scientific literature reflects a substantial practice of organ purchase. Between 2000 and 2015, 86 studies were published. Seventy-six of these presented patients who traveled and 42 stated that the trans- plants were commercial. Only 11 studies reported that patients paid, and eight described to what or whom patients paid. In total, during a period of 42 years, 6002 patients have been reported to travel for transplantation. Of these, only 1238 were reported to have paid for their transplants. An additional unknown number of patients paid for their transplants in their native countries. We conclude that the scientific literature does not reflect a large number of patients buying organs. Organ purchases were more often assumed than determined. A reporting code for transplant professionals to report organ trafficking networks is a potential strategy to collect and quantify cases. 

Click here to read the complete article.

Guatemala - a pediatric transplant program

Development of pediatric transplantation in Guatemala

Excavating the Organ Trade: An Empirical Study of Organ Trading Networks in Cairo, Egypt

S. Columb


Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 8.39.09 PM

2016; Epub August 27

Legislative action in response to the organ trade has centred on the prohibition of organ sales and the enforcement of criminal sanctions targeting ‘trafficking’ offences. This paper argues that the existing law enforcement response is not only inadequate but harmful. The analysis is based on empirical data gathered in Cairo, Egypt, among members of the Sudanese population who have either sold or arranged for the sale of kidneys. The data suggest that prohibition has pushed the organ trade further underground increasing the role of organ brokers and reducing the bargaining position of organ sellers, leaving them exposed to greater levels of exploitation.

Read the complete article freely here.

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