Police arrest two more in international organ fraud case

Suspects were arrested for luring victims into carrying out dangerous organ transplants abroad.

April 12, 2010 11:59
1 minute read.

Police in the North have arrested two additional suspects on Sunday as part of an investigation into a suspected criminal ring which allegedly duped people in financial distress into donating their organs in exchange for false promises of high sums of money.

The two suspects, aged 54 and 39 from Herzliya and Kfar Tavor, were allegedly responsible for coordinating the illegal organ transplants in hospitals abroad, in countries such as Azerbaijan and Ecuador, according to Ch.-Supt. Galor Aharon, head of the Northern Fraud Branch.

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“They coordinated the transplants and headed contacts with hospitals. One of the suspects is an insurance salesman and the second is a businessman,” Aharon told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

The suspects will be brought before the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court on Monday for a remand hearing. Last Wednesday, six suspects were arrested by detectives from the Northern Fraud Branch for allegedly luring victims into carrying out dangerous organ transplants abroad which resulted in medical complications for a number of the recipients and donors.

The suspects arrested last week were named as Brig.-Gen. (res.) Meir Zamir, 62, of Rishon Lezion, and two lawyers – named by police as Natanel Moyal, 34, of Ashkelon, and Eliyahu Rafaeli, 77. Other suspects include Kobi Glob, 34, of Or Yehuda, Shlomi Biton, 34, of Ashkelon, his girlfriend Yafit Shukrun, 36, of Ramle.

The ring allegedly placed ads on Internet sites promising $100,000 to kidney donors. In some cases, those allegedly duped by the ads were paid only $10,000, while in other cases, the organ donors received no money at all.

In 2008, the Knesset outlawed organ trafficking and earning a profit on organ transplants. The law stipulates that all organ transplants must be carried out by Israel’s National Transplant and Organ Donation Center.

“The suspects looked for people in financial distress,” Ch.-Supt. Ezer Yehuda, of the police’s Fraud Branch, told The Jerusalem Post last week.

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