Twenty-five members of an alleged international human organs trafficking ring have been arrested in Egypt, authorities announced.
“Today at dawn, the largest international network for trading human organs has been captured,” the Egyptian Administrative Control Authority said earlier this week.
The network was reportedly comprised of Arabs, including Egyptians ,who trafficked human organs to sell for large amounts as Egypt’s economy continues to turn for the worse.
Those arrested, found with millions of dollars, included doctors, academics and heads of medical centres, according to the Egyptian corruption authority.
Authorities found computers with trading information and documents when searching scores of medical centres and laboratories.
“The accused who were arrested exploited the economic situation of some Egyptians and the suffering of some patients and their need for treatment to take large financial sums from them,” the health ministry said.
In 2010, Egypt was named as one of the top five countries in illegal organ trade, according to a World Health Organisation coordinator.
In the same year, a law was passed banning commercial organ trade even in transplants between Egyptians and foreigners in a bid to regulate transplants and limit the high levels of illegal trafficking.
Human organ trafficking has also proven useful to poor families who use the money to buy food or pay off debts by selling off the organs.