Organ trafficker sentenced to 36 month in prison

Hadassah-Ein Kerem employee convicted on 12 counts related to involvement in illegal transfer of patient's kidneys.

April 5, 2013 06:57
1 minute read.
Kidney Dialysis

Kidney Dialysis 370. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)


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Sami Shem-Tov, 69, who worked in the registrar at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem neighborhood, was sentenced by the district court on Thursday to 36 months in prison for his part in illegally selling patients’ organs.

The court also ordered Shem-Tov to pay nearly NIS 500,000 in compensation to several of his victims.

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Shem-Tov, who sold the organs from 2006 to 2010 as part of his own private, illegal system for arranging kidney transfers, was convicted on 12 counts for the illegal sale of organs, forgery, fraud, pretending to be a doctor and other crimes.

In addition to selling the organs, Shem-Tov tricked, lied to and threatened uninformed and economically disadvantaged patients in order to get them to “donate” their organs.

The organ transfers arranged by Shem-Tov took his “clients” all over the world.

The court said that Shem- Tov’s “economic benefit was the main motivator” for his actions, rather than “the benefit of the patients who needed kidney transfers.”

Although some of Shem- Tov’s “clients” benefited from their organ transfers, some people were threatened into cooperating with him after they changed their minds and decided not to go through with an organ transfer.

In one case, a man who had paid significant amounts of money was even hospitalized for 40 days in Ecuador without receiving the transplant.

He collapsed and was rushed to emergency care when he returned to Israel.

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