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Entries in Trafficking (2)

Friday
Apr062012

Five Charged in China After Boy Sells Kidney for iPhone, iPad

ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images(CHANGSHA, China) -- What would you give up to have the latest smartphone or best tablet device?  The most popular of these devices often cost the figurative arm-and-a-leg, but would they be worth giving up a real kidney? Chinese authorities arrested five people after a teenager admitted he sold his kidney to the group so that he could purchase Apple's iPhone and iPad.

The surgeon, who removed the 17-year-old teen's kidney, and four others were paid a total of around $35,000 for the transplant, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.  The boy, identified only by his last name, Wang, reportedly only received $3,000 in exchange for his kidney.

When Wang's mother questioned her son about how he got money for such expensive gadgets, he confessed that he had sold his kidney to the group after being recruited through an online chatroom for illegal trade, according to BBC News.  Prosecutors say the boy now suffers from renal failure, Xinhua reports.

With the popular gadgets in high demand and shortages of donors causing even higher demand for organs, the black market for human organs has thrived -- despite the official banning of organ trafficking several years ago.

All five people responsible for the removal and sale of Wang's kidney were charged with causing intentional injury and illegal organ trading.  Officials are still investigating others who may have been involved in the operation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov022011

'Merchant of Death' Viktor Bout Convicted of Arms Trafficking

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A New York jury has convicted the so-called “Merchant of Death,” Viktor Bout, on charges he tried to sell weapons to Colombian terrorists.
 
“Viktor Bout was ready to sell a weapons arsenal that would be the envy of some small countries,” said Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “He aimed to sell those weapons to terrorists for the purpose of killing Americans. With today’s swift verdict, justice has been done and a very dangerous man will be behind bars.”
 
Bout faces life in prison when he’s sentenced Feb. 8. The jury deliberated over two days following a three-week trial. Bout had been extradited from Thailand, where he was caught in a sting operation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
 
“With today’s verdict in the Southern District of New York, one of the world’s most notorious merchants in illicit arms has finally been held to account for his heinous criminal profiteering in death and destruction,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “Victor Bout profited by arming lawless men with weapons of war, and cared nothing for the potential harm to innocent Americans.”
 
The former Soviet military officer was found guilty of conspiring to kill U.S. nationals in Colombia by selling millions of dollars worth of weapons to the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Columbia, a terror group known as FARC. Court records say Bout agreed during conversations with undercover DEA informants to supply surface-to-air missiles, AK-47 rifles, anti-personnel landmines, C-4 plastic explosive, night vision goggles and unmanned drones.
 
“Today, one of the world's most prolific arms dealers is being held accountable for his sordid past,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Viktor Bout's arms trafficking activity and support of armed conflicts have been a source of concern around the globe for decades.”
 
Bout’s attorney had portrayed him as an innocent businessman looking only to unload some cargo planes.  His case raised tensions between the U.S. and Russia. Russian politicians sent Judge Shira A. Scheindlin a letter urging fairness.
 
Bout has long been suspected of supplying weapons to al Qaeda, the Taliban and African warlords.  He was mentioned in a 2000 United Nations report as a former Air Force officer “strongly suspected to be connected to Russian organized crime.”  The U.N. said he “supplied military equipment and other necessities to all conflict areas in Africa.”
 
Bout is thought to be the inspiration for Nicolas Cage’s character in the 2005 film Lord of War.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio