11 'organ traffickers' held in Syria

2010-10-04 20:34

Damascus - Syria has arrested 11 suspected members of an international organ trafficking gang that claimed 150 victims in the past year alone, local media reported on Monday.

Those arrested are thought to have bought kidneys from residents in the slum quarters of the northern city of Aleppo to sell to rich Gulf Arabs, particularly from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, said the pro-government Al-Watan daily.

The network was run by a 26-year-old woman identified only as Fadia who acted as an intermediary between the victims and two Syrians who performed the operations in Cairo, said the report which cited police.

She allegedly organised trips to the Egyptian capital for the organ donors, who were paid a minimal amount for their kidneys.

The Syrian authorities have asked Interpol to issue an international arrest warrant for the Syrian members of the network living in Cairo, Al-Watan reported.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) considers Egypt, where hundreds of poor people sell kidneys or parts of their livers every year, to be a centre for organ trafficking.