Spanish police arrest five for trying to buy an immigrant’s kidney

Five members of a Serbian gang suspected of trying to buy a Moroccan immigrant’s kidney for 6000 euros are arrested in Spain.

TARRAGONA, SPAIN (MAY 18, 2015) (POLICE) – Five members of a Serbian gang were arrested in Spain on Monday (May 18) after being accused of trying to purchase a kidney from a Moroccan immigrant in Tarragona, Spanish police said.

The Moroccan man, who the police described as poor and in economic need, changed his mind over the organ transplant because he feared he would not receive the agreed amount of 6000 euros.

His change of heart prompted the gang members to kidnap and hold him against his will in a house where he was beaten until he agreed to go ahead with the operation.

Police said that the person hoping to purchase the kidney is the leader of an international criminal gang that used under aged children to carry out high-end domestic burglaries.

“This organisation of Serbian origin had tried, and this is the most newsworthy detail, to purchase an organ, in this case a kidney, for the son of the group’s leader,” said Spanish Police Director General Ignacio Cosido at a news conference on Monday.

Cosido said that the Moroccan man’s lack of finances made him vulnerable to the offer of selling one of his organs.

“This person is an immigrant who is in economic need, as so many are in his situation, and therefore very vulnerable to offers of organ purchases. He changed his mind (about the donation) and the organisation held him and beat him but the success of the police operation stopped this organ from being transplanted,” Cosido said.

The arrest of the five people in Tarragona is the latest of a total of 48 arrests made in connection with the Serbian gang’s criminal actions.

The arrest was carried out by Spanish police with the collaboration of German and Belgium police, as well as Spain’s National Transplant Organisation (ONT), a police news release said.