Seven Chinese men have been sentenced for their part in running an illegal organ trafficking operation. A 17-year-old student from one of China’s poorest cities sold the men his kidney back in early 2011 before later suffering from a health damaging kidney failure.
Wang Shangkun, now 18, received $3,500 (22,000 yuan) from the men in exchange for his kidney before using a portion of the money to buy himself a new iPhone and iPad. Shangkun’s mom testified in court, however, that her son did not specifically sell his kidney to buy the Apple devices, but that he felt he had to buy something so that he wouldn’t get caught with such a large sum of money.
Seven men involved in the crime were sentenced on Thursday. The surgeon that carried out the operation must now serve three years, while He Wei, the main organizer behind the operation, has been sentenced to five years. The men have also been forced to pay $236,000 in compensation to Shangkun, whose age they hadn’t checked before the operation.
China is always in desperate need of healthy organs. The Wall Street Journal estimates that 1.5 million Chinese are in need of organ transplants each year, while only 10,000 people actually end up getting one.
Image Credit: All Things D