Pakistan cracks down on illegal organ trade


Pakistani authorities said on Wednesday (Feb 18) they have intensified a crackdown on the illegal trade of bodily organs after a high-profile death due to an illegal kidney transplant. - AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani authorities said on Wednesday (Feb 18) they have intensified a crackdown on the illegal trade of bodily organs after a high-profile death due to an illegal kidney transplant.

Police in central Punjab province launched the operation against organ trade rackets after the death of the 34-year-old daughter of top comedian Umar Sharif on Tuesday.

"We have launched a crackdown for the arrest of surgeon Fawad Mumtaz and other rackets,” Adnan Ahmad Bhatti, vigilance officer at the Human Organ Transplant Authority (HOTA) told dpa on Wednesday.

Three government departments including the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), HOTA and the police are involved in the operation against organ-trading groups.

The authorities said that details of the operation were confidential.

The surgeon involved in the Sharif case had previously spent two years in jail for illegal transplants and is on the run, Bhatti said.

Pakistan was once a top destination for foreigners coming for organ transplants.

In 2010, the organ trade was criminalised with a punishment of up to 10 years in jail.

The donors are often poor people who sell organs for a few hundred dollars and rarely receive post-operative care. Some die from complications.

The exact number of illegal transplants still happening is not known but officials say it may be in thousands.

More than 150,000 patients need a new kidney and over 100,000 need a liver transplant in Pakistan, Imran Rehman, a spokesperson for HOTA said. - dpa/Asian News Network
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Pakistan , Illegal Organ Trade , Crackdown

   

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