Three to stand trial for human organ trading

By Zhang Yan (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-05-15 10:55
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BEIJING - Three people charged with an illegal operation as well as the forgery of seals and documents in two separate cases of human organ trafficking will stand trial in a local Beijing court next Tuesday, a prosecutor said.

These will be the country's second and third cases on the illegal human organ trade, following the first case in March in the capital's Haidian district court.

One case involves Zeng Kangkang, 20, from Shanxi province. The unemployed man had also sold part of his liver for 40,000 yuan ($5,860) through an illegal agency in Tianjin, Zhong Lijun, a prosecutor from the procuratorate of Haidian district, told China Daily on Thursday.

The other case involves two brothers, 30-year-old Cai Shaohua and 22-year-old Cai Shaoxia, from Henan province. The elder Cai has just graduated from college and his brother is still unemployed, Zhong said.

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In July 2008, Shanxi's Zeng Kangkang came to Beijing to look for a job and lived in a rented room near Yongding road, but he could not find any work, Zhong said.

Zeng considered selling human organs as a way to make money. From July 2008 to March 2009, he regularly waited outside the dialysis room of the Armed Police General Hospital and three other large hospitals in Beijing to search for people who wanted kidney or liver transplants, Zhong said.

He was also introduced to a Beijing agency that provided human organ donors and helped forge certificates.

In the fake documents, they would say the organ recipient was a relative of the patient, which made the recipient eligible to receive the organs, Zhong said.

Organ trading was banned in May 2007. Donations of organs are strictly restricted among family members .

In April last year, Zeng succeeded in introducing one organ donor to Zhu Juanhui, a male patient who needed a kidney transplant in the Armed Police General Hospital.

Zhu paid Zeng 130,000 yuan, among which 48,000 yuan was paid to the agency and 32,000 yuan to the organ supplier, Zhong said.

Police detained Zeng on May 28 last year.

The Cai brothers used the same methods to look for patients who had their liver or kidney transplanted in large hospitals, Zhong said.

The duo would release the patients' information on the Internet and, if agencies had the requisite organ donors, they would contact the Cai brothers for the illegal trade.

By typing in words like "organ donation "or "organ agency", search engines will display numerous online brokers who recruit paid donors and help them find matching recipients.

From March to May last year, the Cai brothers succeeded in introducing four patients to matching organ donors through online agencies. They also helped forge the certificates for the donors and the amount of money involved was up to 584,000 yuan, prosecutors said.

At nearly all 3-A level, or highest level, comprehensive hospitals across the country, there are two or three agencies searching for patients who need livers or kidneys, sometimes through doctors, insiders said.

A kidney is typically sold for 150,000 yuan on the black market. Of that figure, 50,000 yuan is paid to the donor and 10,000 yuan to the agency as an introductory fee. The remainder is shared between the hospital and the agency, insiders said.

In March, Liu Jiangshen from Sichuan province and Yang Shihai from Chongqing were charged with illegal operation in human organ trafficking in Beijing's Haidian district court. No verdict has been given so far.

Those convicted of illegal human organ trading stand to receive jail terms of up to five years.

"But if the circumstances are serious, such as if the amount of money involved exceeds 50,000 yuan or if the case involves serious social consequences, lawbreakers face jail terms from five years to the death penalty," Zhong said.

Those convicted of forging official documents usually face jail terms of under three years, he said.