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Kidneys trafficked into Lanka

2013 Nov 12

British patients waiting for organ transplants are being offered surgery using illegally trafficked kidneys at a hospital in Sri Lanka, it has been claimed.

Britain’s ‘The Telegraph’ reported that the organs are on sale for tens of thousands of pounds with promises to arrange surgery at the hospital in Colombo.

A journalist working for the Times newspaper posed as a relative of a Briton seeking a kidney transplant and claims to have been offered an organ originating either from India or the UK.

The agreement took place at a meeting with organ “facilitator”, Antonio Kanickaraj, in Bangalore, India.

He said the transplant operation would take place at a hospital in Sri Lanka, which would charge $40,000 (£25,000) for the surgery, the British newspaper report claimed.

The recipient would then pay an additional $35,000 to the organ donor.

To avoid any legal barriers to surgery, the donor would claim the kidney was being offered for free on humanitarian grounds.

In a secret recording, Kanickaraj, who worked for Mediease, in Bangalore, which provides medical tourism services for international patients, said: “There are some things that you have to keep confidential like the compensation that you will be giving to the donor.

“That’s the one thing that you have to keep [quiet].”

The allegations will fuel concerns about a rising black market trade in human organs in many parts of the world, including South Asia.

There is no suggestion the hospital or other people working for Mediease are guilty of any wrongdoing.

The newspaper report said that Kanickaraj had said he would claim a commission fee for arranging the deal. (Colombo Gazette)

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