LAHORE: For the first time, Pakistani authorities have arrested seven suspects involved in a major international racket that transported poor and needy people from the country to China for illegal transplant surgeries.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Monday arrested the suspects, including ring leader Abdul Latif, at the Lahore's passport office.
Previously, the FIA arrested a number of suspects involved in illegal organ transplant, especially in Punjab, where the people from the Gulf often visited for kidney procedures.
According to FIA Punjab Deputy Director Sardar Mavarhan Khan, on receiving information that an international gang was active in Lahore in illegal transplant of human organs in China, a team conducted a raid at the passport office and arrested seven suspects, including donors and agents.
"The agents would allegedly motivate poor and needy people to sell their liver and kidney and then had the organ transplant conducted in China. During preliminary investigation it has transpired that the agents had contacts in China where they managed to get the organ transplant conducted by Chinese doctors," he said.
"This is the first time that such a gang has been unearthed which is involved in illegal human organ transplant in China. An agent pays around Rs 400,000 to a donor and arranges his travel to the country. A recipient usually reaches there (China) on his own. This gang has transported around 30 people to China for the purpose so far," Khan added.
The FIA said that recipients of organs usually come from the Gulf, India and Bangladesh and also from Pakistan.
A case has been registered against the suspects under sections 10, 11 Punjab Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues (Amended) Act 2012.
According to media reports, China's illegal organ transplant industry is worth millions of dollars each year.
Earlier, it was alleged that the organs of prisoners were harvested illegally in China.
Earlier, China had been in news for 'bridal scam'.
Over 600 Pakistani girls, mostly Christian, were allegedly lured by Chinese men into marriage for better future in China.
The FIA had investigated this scandal.
However, no action was initiated in the light of its report.