Kampala – Ugandan doctors are under probe in connection with a human organ-trafficking ring, Red pepper can exclusively report.
The surgeons who number sixty two, according to well-placed sources, are accused of illegally extracting body organs from patients before selling them to their local collaborators who also in turn sell them on the global black market.
Others are accused of making referrals to patients in hospitals abroad but only to have their organs harvested when they reach there. Most sought after organs include heart, kidney and liver. There are also reports that some of the implicated medics have been carrying out dozens of illegal transplants in some hospitals here in Uganda.
According to sources, this probe is being conducted by the United Nations with the knowledge of a few officials in Uganda to make sure the cabal is rounded up.
We have also learnt that the UN investigators have interrogated other persons of interest in Uganda and about 47 have reportedly been zeroed on.
Sources privy with details of the probe hastened to add that Ugandan authorities have even allowed the UN investigators to have these 47 Ugandans indicted in UN court.
The web of criminals, according to sources includes known city mafias who have no any known job, judicial officers, probation officers, orphanages and passport control officials, police personnel, doctors, hospital administration staff, medical support staff, labour export companies, medical tourism to Asian nation companies, Internal affairs and immigration officials, politicians and as well kidney and liver donors — all catering to patients with end-stage kidney and liver failure. These patients can’t be treated with medicines or dialysis and therefore require a transplant.
With the aid of this cabal most victims in Uganda are reportedly trafficked abroad with good job promises, better health care only to have their organs extracted by coercion. Victims end up being paid some less money, others are forced on the plane back and some die in the process.
Red pepper has also learnt that this is one of the major UN crackdown targeting illicit body organ trade and many international actors will soon be arrested. Sources say, so far ten top international dealers/ring leaders from Pakistan, India, Spain, Italy, and China among other countries have also been arrested in the ongoing crackdown.
According to The United Nations office on Drugs and Crime, whereas transplantation of healthy organs into persons whose own organs have failed, improves and saves thousands of lives every year, the demand for organs has outstripped supply, creating an underground market for illicitly obtained organs.
The body observes that desperate situations of both recipients and donors create an avenue ready for exploitation by international organ trafficking syndicates. As a result, traffickers exploit the desperation of donors to improve the economic situation of themselves and their families, and they exploit the desperation of recipients who may have few other options to improve or prolong their lives.
“Like other victims of trafficking in persons, those who fall prey to traffickers for the purpose of organ removal may be vulnerable by virtue of poverty, for instance. One factor that is distinct in this form of trafficking in persons is the profile of culprits; while some may live solely from criminal trafficking activities, others may be doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and health care professionals who are involved in legitimate activities when they are not participating in trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ removal.
The transnational organized crime syndicates are involved in trafficking people for the purpose of organ removal and the organs themselves. The Trafficking in Persons Protocol supplementing the Transnational Organized Crime Convention includes trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ removal,” UN said in a statement seen by this newspaper.
Those seeking to work abroad are now being warned to beware of fake foreign agencies promising to take them abroad. They process your papers, pay your plane ticket and just take you abroad pretending they want to find you a job, but instead, they kill their victims, recover all the precious parts of their bodies.
“Many people have been offered jobs in the Middle East and so far their families have been unable to locate them. Let our children and grandchildren become aware of these devices of the devil…”UN advises.
In Uganda refugee girls have reportedly been targeted. These are reportedly given between Sh300,000 to Sh500,000 for selling their organs, specifically kidneys, to Ugandan middlemen who re-sell them to wealthy buyers for as much as shs10,000,000. Vulnerable children are] lured into so-called orphanages and child-homes which later turn out to be holding centres before they are trafficked to countries like India, China and the United States of America, where their internal organs are harvested and sold while those who are rejected are subjected to child labour and sex slavery.