Authorities in Egypt say they have busted an International organ trafficking network that reportedly bought organs from poor Egyptians and sold them to customers from other countries.
Egypt’s health ministry and Administrative Control Authority said they had arrested 45 members of the network including university professors and doctors from Egypt and other Arab countries.
Nurses, middlemen and organ-buyers were also detained in Tuesdays dawn raid in what the ministry has described as the largest organ-trafficking network exposed in Egypt to date.
Press TV reports:
“Today at dawn, the largest international network for trading human organs has been captured,” said the statement.
In addition to university professors and doctors, owners of medical centers, intermediaries and brokers were also among the 25 detainees.
The Egyptian authority, which tracks corruption cases in the country’s state institutions, said the network was taking “advantage of some of the citizens’ difficult economic conditions so that they buy their human organs and sell it for large sums of money.”
The statement said those arrested possessed “millions of dollars and gold bullion.”
A report in 2010 by the World Health Organization named Egypt as one of the top five countries in illegal organ trade. The announcement prompted Egypt’s parliament to pass a law that banned commercial trade in organs as well as transplants between Egyptians and foreigners, except in cases of husband and wife.
The United Nations has also issued reports saying that Egyptians are still involved in illegal organs trade. The reports claim that hundreds of poor Egyptians sell their kidneys and livers each year to pay for their food and debts.
There were also reports in 2012 showing that refugees in the Sinai were being “killed for the traffic of organs.”