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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

INTERPOL: four Israelis Arrested for Trafficking Human organs in Bulgaria, a Rabbi among suspects

A Rabbi among suspects; traffickers would approach poor Bulgarians and offer to buy a kidney for transplant in Turkey.


According to INTERPOL’s spokesperson , LCol. Asan Kasingye, four people were arrested today in Sofia on suspicion of organ trafficking, one of whom is a Jewish clergyman already standing trial for similar offenses in the past.
The four were arrested today at the end of a month-long undercover investigation. Ziss, a Rabbi, was extradited from Bulgaria to Israel in 2009 on similar suspicions.
“The four men are suspected of running a complete trafficking operation: locating people in Sofia willing to sell a kidney, locating patients willing and able to pay for one and then arranging the transplant. Bulgarian Police said the traffickers would approach poor people who were in debt and propose that they sell a kidney for transplant,”Kasingye told  Bulgarian News Agency (БТА ).
According to Bulgarian officials the actual transplants were performed in a Turkish hospital, with the donors posing as relatives of the patient. Meanwhile the Bulgarian National Transplant Center stressed that it was not involved in any of the transactions and that no illegal transplants were performed in Bulgaria.
Selling organs is illegal everywhere in the world except Saudi Arabia. But Israel is considered a major player in the organ trafficking business, and the number of Israelis who have sold kidneys via traffickers is estimated at between 10,000 and 20,000.
Although recipients pay hundreds of thousands of shekels for the kidney, the donor, according to various reports, gets only between 60,000 and 100,000 shekels ($160,000-$260,000). The rest of the fee goes to the head of the trafficking ring, the doctor overseeing the transplant, the lawyer who prepares the false affidavits, and expenses such as hospital and hotel fees.
One reason Israel is considered fertile ground for organ traffickers is that postmortem organ donation rates are among the lowest in the Western world, mainly for religious reasons.

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