How Does Kidney Trafficking Happen?

Part 5 of 5

Duping victims to sell their kidneys

A recruiter from an underground crime ring visits a remote village in a poor country. He approaches a family, and pledges to pay $5,000 if someone in that household will sell their organ. He swears it is completely safe, and that the “patient” will have a swift, easy recovery. The recruiter passes the victim off to his colleague, a transporter who travels with the victim to the hospital, usually in a big city.

On the ride there, the transporter tells the victims what to do and say if asked questions. It is common for uneducated people to be illiterate. The hospital interviews the victim, and accepts their thumbprint pledging that his kidney is being donated to a family member. The kidney is extracted, and the victim is taken to a separate place to recover. The transporter is long gone, and the criminal is at the mercy of other criminals, whom he has never seen before. They deduct funds from his promised $5000 for lodging and feeding him during his recovery. Eventually, the victim is sent home confused, betrayed, and alone with none of the promised money.

Buy A Kidney Online

Meanwhile, kidney buyers usually respond to online ads for kidneys. They travel to fancy hospitals in big cities in one of the developing countries. They receive their transplant, recover for a few weeks, and return home.

When It’s All For Naught

Sometimes, the buyers’ body rejects the new kidney. The buyer has to take anti-rejection medicine for the rest of his life, or at least until the kidney stops working. Sometimes the medicine doesn’t work, and the buyer ends up with an infection that can be treated or lead to death. Sometimes, the kidney cannot be recovered, and the buyer ends up back on dialysis.

Just imagine if a buyer has to go back on dialysis. As if it wasn’t already bad enough that the buyer stole a kidney. But when it doesn’t work, the victim and the buyer’s lives are changed (for the worse) forever. And the middle men get away free, clear, and a lot richer.

Mamta Valderrama