Tel Aviv, May 26 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Israeli police have detained 10 members of an international crime ring suspected of organ trafficking and illegal transplant surgeries, said an Israeli law enforcement source.
The data that we have received indicates that an organ trafficking network that involved Israeli citizens has been operating here [in Israel], the source said.
The suspects sought out donors who experienced financial difficulties and convinced them to sell their organs without warning of possible consequences and side effects, and without proper post-surgery treatment, he added.
Though the names of the arrested suspects had not been made public yet, Moshe Harel, the kingpin of the trafficking ring, could be among them.
Harel had been sought for years by Kosovo authorities for his alleged involvement in organ trafficking and illegal transplant surgeries at a clinic in the Kosovo capital, Pristina, in 2008.
According to investigation, at least 30 illegal kidney removals and transplants were carried out in the clinic.
The donors were from poor eastern European and Central Asian countries, including Russia, Moldova and Kazakhstan. They were promised about 15,000 euros ($19,000) to become organ donors. The organs were later re-sold for between 80,000 and 100,000 euros ($100,000-$125,000).
The clinic was raided in 2008 after a Turkish man collapsed at Pristina airport while waiting for a flight to Istanbul after having his kidney removed.