Four men jailed for illegal organ trafficking
Spain’s Supreme Court has confirmed the first conviction for an offence of illegal organ trafficking.
Four defendants offered 6,000 euros to a Moroccan citizen in an irregular situation in Spain provided he gave up one of his kidneys to one of the gang who was ill.
The sentences of up to six years in prison were imposed by the Provincial Court of Barcelona on three members of the same family and a friend.
They offered the 6,000 euros to the Moroccan who lived by begging.
The Supreme Court said such an arrangement was not legal and went against all the principles of the public transplant system “designed according to the basic principles of action of altruism, gratuity, solidarity and objectivity in the allocation of the organs for the transplant “.
“It is not just about protecting the health or physical integrity of people but the protection of physical integrity and dignity of people,” the court ruled.
One of the defendants suffered from kidney disease and after under-going dialysis sessions, was prepared for a kidney transplant.
He was told of the regulations and his file was sent to Bellvitge Hospital in Barcelona. However, as he did not have a health card, he pretended to be his brother, who was also prosecuted, every time he went to the doctor.
They then decided to look for a private donor to cut the waiting time and eventually made contact with the Moroccan citizen who lived in a homeless hostel opposite the hospital.
He agreed to donate one of his kidneys in exchange for 6,000 euros and went to the hospital pretending to be a friend and was found to be compatible with the pa-tient.
However, after signing a legal document, he changed his mind but was beaten up by the four defendants.
The father of the two brothers who helped with the search was given six years and six months in prison for organ trafficking and coercion.
One of his sons was given six years in prison for a crime of organ trafficking and another of mis-appropriation of civil status.
The second son who needed the transplant received four and a half years in jail and the fourth man, their friend, six years.
The court said it rejected the defence of need put forward by the defendant who needed the kidney.
The magistrate Andrés Martínez Arrieta said he had been told about the public transplant system but decided not to follow it and looked for an organ of a person who would give a kidney in exchange for money.