Migrants 'lured with sex' into Egypt's kidney trade

Migrants 'lured with sex' into Egypt's kidney trade
While the sale of organs remains illegal in Egypt, the arrival of poor African migrants in Cairo provides a supply source for the country's organs black market.
2 min read
03 Sep, 2016
Kidney traders in Egypt prey on African migrants desperate for cash [AFP]
Undocumented African migrants in Egypt are being enticed into the illicit kidney trade with prostitutes, while the country's medical establishment overlooks the trade in body parts for transplants, a report says. 

According to testimonies given to the British Journal of Criminology, migrants were offered sex as a "sweetener" for the extraction of their organs for cash.

"[One pimp] used the services of sex workers as leverage when negotiating fees with both sellers and buyers," the report said. "A night with a sex worker was offered as an extra inducement to sell."

Such stories add to earlier reports about Egypt's organs black market.

Britain's Times newspaper in July reported that migrants were being killed for their organs if they were unable to pay their traffickers.

According to one arrested smuggler quoted by the Times, the organ gangs "come equipped to remove the organ and transport it in insulated bags".

The criminology journal's report also suggests that mainstream hospitals are involved in the illicit trade, including through backstreet kidney purchases.

This assertion was made after the report's author, Sean Columb, spent a period in Cairo interviewing organ brokers.

Columb found that although kidney purchases are illegal in Egypt, paying for transplant procedures is not, thus allowing the illegal trade to thrive.

One of the organ sellers Columb spoke to said that he had been paid 40,000 Egyptian pounds for his kidney [$4,500].

Such transactions were often swiftly carried out in cafes and other public places, where brokers met with the organ seller and representatives from registered transplant laboratory, the report said.

The report also found that it was not uncommon for buyers to pay up to $100,000 for a kidney.