Team of medical workers ran organ trafficking ring in China
16 people jailed for between two and five years by court in Shandong, over online sales of kidneys
Sixteen people, mostly medical workers, were convicted of involvement in an organ trafficking ring and sentenced to between two and five years in jail by a court in Shandong on Friday, mainland media reported.
The ring performed illegal kidney transplants at various hospitals and clinics in Jinan, Taian and Feicheng cities since 2014, according to provincial news portal Iqilu.com.
The report did not identify the hospitals involved or specify how many transplants had been performed before the ring was busted in May 2015. Instead, it said the trading spanned more than a dozen provinces and municipalities, including Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia and Chongqing.
Citing the Lixia district court in Jinan, the report said the ring consisted of at least two doctors, one anaesthetist, a nurse, an assistant doctor and other paramedics.
Using Tencent QQ and other social networking tools, they searched online for kidney sellers across the country, arranging for tests and matches between sellers and potential buyers.
Patients were asked to pay between 400,000 to 600,000 yuan (HK$670,000), sometimes more, for each transplant, while sellers received about 40,000 yuan, according to the report.
Surgeons and paramedics made 3,000 to 10,000 yuan per surgery and the bulk of the profit was split among five ringleaders.