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Saudis held in Egypt over suspected organ trafficking

January 17, 2017 at 1:03 pm

Two Saudi men have been held in Egypt for the last two months for their alleged involvement in Egypt’s back market trade in illegal organs, according to authorities.

Abdullah Al-Shabrami, 37, was accompanying his sick brother, also called Abdullah, to Egypt for a kidney transplant in Cairo, according to the Saudi Gazette. According to Al-Shabrami, $75,000 was paid for a kidney from a deceased donor in a deal that was approved by the Saudi Embassy in Cairo.

“The operation was successful and my brother was recuperating,” he explained.

However Egyptian security services soon arrested the pair at their apartment for colluding with organ traffickers.

Al-Shabrami was held in a government hospital handcuffed to a bed with bail posted for $3,170 to acquire his brother’s release from the medical facility.Egyptian police demanded a further $3,170 in bail money for his brother’s release.

The brothers soon realised they were blacklisted when attempting to travel home and “prevented from travelling…listed as ‘wanted’ by the security agencies,” Al-Shabrami explained.

The travel ban on Al-Shabrami’s sick brother still remains in place despite the Saudi mission promising several times to resolve the matter.

Though kidney purchases are illegal in Egypt, paying for transplant procedures are not which allows illegal trade on the black market to thrive.

One kidney on Egypt’s black market can cost up to $100,000, according to a report published by the British Journal of Criminology last year.

The illegal organs are usually obtained from migrants and refugees trafficked into the country and who are desperate to fund their journey.