by Noushaba T. Rashid

Spain’s first organ trafficking ring was exposed by police in Valencia, which lead to five non-Spanish men being arrested. This group allegedly offered up to €40,000 to poor migrants who did not have official documents in exchange for their viable organs such as kidneys and livers. These were then sold to wealthy clients, foreign and domestic, who had the surgery done at a private clinic in Valencia. The migrants underwent tests which cost up to €15,000 at the clinic to see if they were a compatible match. Like in most countries, the buying and selling of organs is illegal. The National Transplant Organization regulates all organ transplants. This particular ring was exposed after a 61-year-old Lebanese man tried to obtain a liver transplant through this group. He is also a key political figure in Lebanon. A match was found for the politician with a woman who was offered the €40,000. The man however, declined her liver due to the fact that the donor was a female. He was worried that it would conflict with his Islamic beliefs. After obtaining a legal transplant from one his children, he was arrested in Madrid.

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