Public Health Ministry To Investigate Illegal Kidney Trade

 | Tue 8 Jul 2014 20:35 ICT

CityNews – The Public Health Ministry says it will look into reports about an illegal kidney-trading ring involving Thai hospitals after the arrest of a woman in Cambodia.

Coffee vendor Yem Azisah, 29, was arrested in Phnom Penh last week for allegedly arranging the sale of the organs. Her stepfather was also arrested on suspicion of producing fake documents to show the organ donors were related to the recipients, the Cambodia Daily reported.

Among her five alleged victims are two of her brothers and a cousin. They were taken to Bangkok for the operation to remove a kidney, which was then sold to a patient awaiting a kidney transplant. The recipients were all Cambodians, the report said.

The scheme allegedly collapsed after one of those persuaded to part with a kidney bumped into the buyer in a hospital lobby.

Mout Satirin, 23, had been told he would receive $5,000 for undergoing the operation. Upon talking with the recipient, however, he found that she was paying $13,000 – over twice the amount he had been promised – for the kidney. He was further enraged when, upon his return to Cambodia, Ms Azisah failed to return his motorbike, which she was holding as collateral.

Mr Satirin was persuaded to sell one of his kidneys after his mother became sick and needed medical treatment, the report said. He had no other funds to finance her medical care and was desperate to save her.

The deputy director of Thailand’s Department for Health Services Support, Dr Thares Karasnairaviwong, said investigations were under way. The transplant papers from 26 hospitals registered to undertake such procedures are being examined. All of the facilities in question are registered with the local Red Cross Society’s organ donation centre.