Saturday, 20. December 2014
12. 08. 14. - 15:00
A dozen members of a gang that paid impoverished Chinese villagers up to 2,500 GBP to donate a kidney which was then smuggled around the country in boxes labelled as seafood have been jailed.
The court heard that the gang had originally started out stealing organs from patients in Nanchang, the capital city of east China's Jiangxi Province. But it proved so profitable that they moved from exclusively dealing with brain-dead patients to paying regular individuals to donate organs.
The operation was so organised that they had even hired a ward at a local hospital, the Nanchang Huazhong Hospital, to carry out the operations. The kidneys were then packaged in boxes and labelled as seafood before being sent on to the end destination where they were transferred into patients who paid tens of thousands for the illegal organ.
Mo Yongqing who was responsible for delivering the organs said that claiming they were frozen seafood worked even when suspicious security guards had checked the contents. But the gang were caught by adverts that they were making online with increasing frequency for new people to donate organs.
The Qingshanhu District People's Court in Nanchang jailed 12 members of the gang for sentences ranging from three years to 12 years for trafficking in human organs. It heard that the gang had made 150,000 GBP profit from selling the kidneys to the end donor for 12,000 GBP, having paid the original owner of the kidney just 2,500 GBP for the donation.
One donor, a 21-year-old from Anhui Province, told the court that he had wanted to earn some money to show his father he could live on his own, and had been assured that he could live a perfectly normal life with one kidney. Like the dozens of other donors he was recruited online.
He said that the gang had taken him to Nanchang in October 2011, and that prior to the transplant, he stayed in a motel under guard and was taken to two hospitals to see if he was a match with patients needing a transplant.
About three weeks later, he was blindfolded and taken to a hospital to have a kidney removed after which you paid the promised 2,500 GBP.
Most of the donors were in their 20s and 30s. Another man, a 27-year-old, said he sold a kidney to pay gambling debts. He was taken from the city Guangzhou to Nanchang in November 2011 to have it removed.
The gang paid the private Nanchang Huazhong Hospital 3,400 GBP for the hire of a room for each operation,
Jiang Zhenglin, a doctor, earned around 1,000 GBP for each operation. Nurses "borrowed" from other hospitals were paid up to 400 GBP.
Local media reported that many of the gang members had previously sold organs or had been transplant patients and took part because of the money to be made. They were regarded as unlikely to betray the other members because of the fact that they either had illegal kidneys themselves, or had been paid to donate a kidney which is also illegal.
Gang leader Chen Feng, chairman of the Guangzhou Mengjiadi Trading Co, told police he knew many transplant doctors in Guangzhou because the company sold medicines.
He had begun a search for kidney donors after Zhu Yunsong, a doctor at Guangzhou Military Area General Hospital, told him there was a shortage.
Chen sent delivery man Mo to bring the kidneys from the donors to him, before he sold them on to Zhu.
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