Lima

International organ trafficking network uncovered in Peru

By Manuel Vigo

The network reportedly involved 8 doctors — among them urologists and nephrologists — who participated in the illegal sale of kidneys to Peruvian and international patients.

International organ trafficking network uncovered in Peru

(Photo: El Comercio/Reference)

On Monday afternoon a Lima court announced it was looking into a case filed by the Public Ministry, relating to the illegal trafficking of organs, El Comercio reported.


The ministry filed the charges on March 20, over allegations that a network of international organ trafficking operated in Peru between 2004 and 2012, despite Peruvian law banning the sale of organs.


The network reportedly involved 8 doctors — among them urologists and nephrologists — who participated in the illegal sale of kidneys to Peruvian and international patients. 


Doctors named in the suit, are thought to have performed about 60 illegal organ transplants over the past decade — 23 of them carried out on foreign recipients.


According to the daily, international patients would travel to Lima and pay intermediaries up to $125,000 for a kidney transplant.


Tests would determine compatibility between the recipient and the potential organ seller, and the procedure would be carried out in one of several private clinics across the city. Organ donors could receive up to $8,000 for a kidney, they daily said.


"Donations have to be free and voluntary,” an unnamed source inside the prosecution’s office said to El Comercio.


“In the cases that were investigated, there was no family or friendly relationship between the donors and the recipients.”


The ministry’s report includes 68 people who participated in the organ trafficking, and could face up to 6 years in jail if found guilty. Doctors found guilty of participating in organ trafficking could receive up to a 15-year sentence.


Dr. Christian Miranda Orrillo, a kidney specialist who was named in the suit, denied the allegations.


“All my patients brought legal documentation certifying that the donation was voluntary,” Miranda said to the daily.


“I have never received money for an illegal transplant," he said.


According to the prosecutor’s office, 56 of those named in the suit are being accused of selling their organs.