April 16, 2024

Pakistani police break up organ trafficking gang

Pakistani police have arrested eight members of a organ transplant gang who allegedly are involved in 328 illegal kidney transplants.

The ringleader, according to the caretaker chief minister of Punjab province, Mohsin Naqvi, was a doctor, Fawad Mukhtar. He was assisted by a motor mechanic who worked as his anaethetist. The kidneys were sold for up to 10 million rupees (US$120,000) each.

“The facts and figures that have come to us make the heart tremble,” Mr Naqvi told the media. “There are a lot more transplants and illegal surgeries than this. These are the ones that we have confirmed. The gang was more active in Lahore, Taxila and Azad Kashmir and used to perform kidney operations at homes instead of operation theatres.”

Dr Muktar had been arrested five times before for involvement in organ transplants, but he was never brought to trial. Three people allegedly have died as a result of the transplants. Organ sales were banned in Pakistan in 2010, but lax law enforcement, growing demand, and an abundant supply of potential donors mired in poverty have allowed an underground market to flourish.