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Shamefully, Illegal Human Organ Trafficking is Still on the Rise

by Martin Berger, New Eastern Outlook

It would seem that at that point in time nobody can tell us anything new about the illegal sources of income that all sorts of criminal gangs and terrorist groups would abuse to rip massive profits, however it turned out that on top of illegal drug trade, oil trafficking and theft of historical relics, those are engaged in black market human organ trade. What we once could only see on the pages of best selling novels is pretty much the reality of today, as at this point illegal human organ trafficking turns out to be one of the most profitable types of criminal activities. It flourishes in Latin America, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and across the Middle East. On the black market, one can basically find any part of a human body to get transplanted, but above else kidneys seem to be in high demand, since every tenth inhabitant of our planet tends to encounter kidney-related diseases at some point in his life. According to the World Health Organization, some 70,000 kidney transplants are being conducted annually, with well over 20% of those performed illegally.

As it's been noted by L'Espresso, at least 10% of all transplantations in the world are committed with the use of organs purchased on the black market. The estimated turnover of this criminal business is believed to reach some 1.7 billion dollars a year, while the involvement of “middle men” increases the cost of an illegal transplantation by 500%, making the total sum astronomical.

In this criminal business, both sides are equally misfortunate: the one that looks to sell is in desperate need of means of living, while the buyer is usually tries to outrun the Grim Reaper, using every single penny he has. Conflict outbreaks in Syria and Ukraine have resulted in a massive increase in supply on this market, which resulted in patients coming from the countries of the Persian Gulf, Israel, the United States and Europe to Turkey and Egypt in hopes of getting a new chance. These countries, where foreigners would typically come to receive medical aid, have absorbed some 4 million Syrian refugees together with Lebanon, with a lot of those displaced individuals being desperate enough to sell their kidney to foreigners.

Last March, as the portal of Egyptian Youm7 reported, local policemen detained a group of doctors and middle men engaged in the illegal human organ trafficking in Cairo. Earlier in February, Egyptian officials announced yet another detention of a criminal group engaged in the criminal sale of human organs. According to the details uncovered during the investigation, a wealthy client will be forced to pay up 120 thousand dollars to get an organ he, while the donor himself would typically receive less that one one thousand dollars for his organs.

Criminals have been persuading the poor and the deranged to sell their organs by signing a cleverly crafted contract that would prevent them from changing their decision or contacting law enforcement agencies. As the victims of those criminals confined to a number of media sources, they would only receive 300 dollars before the operation, with the remaining sum becoming obtainable only after the crooks would get a new donor to replace the old one. This forced those who sacrificed their health for their own well-being and the well-being of their families in a recruiting rampage, as they get desperate in search of new donors to recruit in the network in order to actually get paid.

A careful analysis of all the reports in the American, European, and the Middle Eastern media allows us to get a feel of the actual size of the monstrous criminal network that is engaged in the routine seizure of the vital organs of once healthy people for those to be sold on the black market, as well as to trace the routes along which human organs are getting smuggled to reach rich patrons from all sorts of Western countries. For instance, it's been reported that at the market near the Turkish border, one can buy a wounded Syrian for 320 dollars to get his organs transplanted. This explains why according to the report presented by the Syrian Citizen media source, a lot of Syrians both injured and healthy are getting kidnapped by radical groups. Moreover, according to the same media the so-called anti-Assad opposition fighters have a way of cutting body parts off the corpses of their victims, only to withhold the mutilated bodies until the moment they get a ransom for them. The correspondent of the above mentioned media source reveals that a Syrian family had to pay a ransom of 645 dollars for a disfigured body of their family member that was subjected to brutal torture before passing away.

On top of the dreaded ISIS that is engaged in such activities, one can find the mention of the Free Syrian Army getting engaged in this barbaric business, even though those militants have been at the reviving end of Washington's financial and political assistance, while also being helped by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf monarchies. The Turkish newspaper Yourte reports that the FSA has been heavily engaged in human organ trafficking. Such armed gangs would kidnap people, cut their liver, kidneys, eyes, pancreas off to later sell them to all sorts of middle men. The trafficking of human organs that belonged to Syrian citizens has reached enormous proportions these days.

The American website CounterPsyOps accompanied its copy of the above mentioned article with its own commentary, that states that the Free Syrian Army was funded by Western countries that promised them power in exchange for a service of overthrowing the government of Bashar al-Assad in order to cast a blow to Russia's gas suppies.

A serious danger that local residents faced when they seek assistance from Turkish doctors was reported by an independent website Syria News. It even cites the name of one of the doctors engaged in illegal activities. According to their report, Dr. Murad Kozal, an employee of a Turkish hospital, subjected his patients to torturous death by removing their organs while they were still alive. The website claims that the FSA militants would assist such doctors with the illegal seizure of organs, killing a lot of captured soldiers and civilian hostages once they were through with them. A number of burial sites discovered by the Syrian armed forces, soldiers discovered bodies lacking eyes and kidneys.

The Lebanese Al Mayadeen TV station, which remains fairly popular in the Arab world, cites similar reports. Those lift the veil of the size of this criminal business, which is being carried on by terrorist gangs in the north of Syria. The report quotes Turkish expert Gasser Barkat, who saw injured Syrians who had kidneys removed in the Jassar Al-Chaghor hospital, which was under the control of extremists. There's also testimonies of witnesses who claim that the wounded Syrians are being forcefully moved to Turkey – to such Turkish cities as Antioche and Kilis, where heinous crimes involving the seizure of organs are being committed on the regular basis. It should be added that the price for a kidney transplant in Turkey reaches six thousand dollars.

The German newspaper Die Welt believes that in Lebanon, where some 800 thousands of displaced Syrians remain stationed, the situation couldn't be any more beneficial for those engaged in human organ trafficking, as many of those who escaped the war suffer from a shortage of drinking water and food and they get really desperate.

A similar criminal situation exists with illegal organ trafficking in Ukraine. It's been reported that local security agencies have repeatedly detained individuals that were a part of a criminal network that was engaged in illegal organ transplantations. This group alone, in period from 2010 to 2014, illegally smuggled a total of 50 citizens of Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Lithuania and Russia to Asian and Latin America for illegal organ transplantation operations.

In April, the Ukrainian media released a story about the rise of illegal transplantations being comitted across the country, which was first aired by Oboz TV.

A former member of the Ukrainian parliament, Vladimir Oleinik announced last year that the rise of human organ trafficking could turn Ukraine into a center for transplant tourism, one of those that wealthy citizens of Western countries visit to get a body part they need. Ever since the pro-Western coup d'etat Ukraine has been getting increasingly poor, which makes desperation a common occurrence among local resident. On top of that the war that the Kiev regime carries on against the eastern Russian-speaking regions of the country, has transformed Ukraine into a reliable supplier of human organs. Oleinik also added that the rise of corruption across Ukraine can lead to the attempts attempts to legalize human organ trafficking.

Independent voices don't seem to be afraid anymore to give a fair assessment of this criminal phenomenon. The Bürgerstimme media source, that is well-known in Western Europe, states that human organ trafficking is no longer a secret, as it has become has put a permanent stain on the image of humanity. In turn, the above mentioned Syria News directly links the growth of the human organ trafficking market with an increase in Washington's aggression unleashed against a number of sovereign Middle Eastern states.

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