Seven busted in global human organ trafficking network

At least seven people were today charged with participating in a Kosovo-based global organ-trafficking network. Poor people were lured into selling kidneys and other organs (this is from their living bodies, mind you) with promises of cash up to $20,000 per organ. "Law enforcement officials say many never received a cent."


  1. Something’s on the horizon…I can just make it out…Yes! It’s a reference to Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life.”

  2. Good thing they were doing this with living donors. Paying all that cash to dead ones would just be bad business.

  3. Organleggers! So at least one thing Larry Niven wrote about is coming true, even if we don’t have hyperdrives or stasis fields.

  4. 1) Couldn’t we please get a nice rosy optimistic SF novel to be living in instead of one of the gritty noir SF novels?

    2) In many countries outside the US, organs can be sold legally or quasi-legally via legislative loopholes, and doctors in some countries outside the US will do transplants without looking into where the organs came from.

    There was a recent story (NY Times maybe?) on this kind of criminal operation in India while it was legal. The crooks running these operations were promising only $1000 or a few $100 to the impoverished donors and then not even paying them that, or in other cases were removing kidneys from people who went in for unrelated operations.

    Wikipedia: “Before legislation passed in 1994, India had a successful legal market in organ trading. Low cost and availability brought in business from around the globe and transformed India into one of the largest kidney transplant centers in the world. Several problems began surfacing during the period of legal organ trade in India. In some cases patients were unaware a kidney transplant procedure even took place. Other problems included patients being promised an amount much higher than what was actually paid out. Ethical issues surrounding contribution donating pushed the Indian government to pass legislation banning the sale of organs.” Some of the patients who had kidneys removed are still struggling to get paid, due to the infinite malleability of the Indian justice system.

    That would be strong evidence that buying organs for transplants being *legal* is what makes this kind of crime show up where it does. (Not that I expect evidence to affect devoted believers of the Church of the Holy Market.)

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