South Korean police in Busan have cracked an illegal organ trade case and arrested four brokers for allegedly introducing South Korean patients to China to undergo organ transplantation.
According to the Nov. 21 police investigation report, the brokers provided the South Korean patients with falsified Chinese IDs to check into a Chinese hospital because China has banned foreigners from receiving organ transplants since 2007, New Tang Dynasty (NTD) TV said in a Nov. 23 report.
According to a report by Radio Free Asia, each liver transplant patient paid 80 million to 150 million South Korean won (US$69,440 to $130,200), which included a 20 percent brokerage fee.
Police said that since 2006, the brokers introduced at least 94 Koreans to China to receive organ transplants. Most of the organs were said to be from death-row inmates. Four transplant patients with advanced cancer died after the surgery. The leader of the broker group is still at large, and the case is still under investigation.
South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo reported in 2004 that the majority of Chinese hospitals obtained organs through illegal and unethical channels, and had higher rates of transplant rejection and complications after surgery than South Korean hospitals. However, due to extreme difficulty of finding matching organs in the country, many Korean patients have gone to China for transplants.
“China is the world’s leading source of organ transplants, after the United States, transplanting at a rate of 10,000 organs a year,” David Matas, an international human rights lawyer, said in a May 11 talk at the University of San Diego. “Moreover, China is unique in the world for its short waiting times.”
But Chinese people have a cultural aversion to donating their organs; there are basically no organ donations in China. According to Huang Jiefu, Chinese deputy minister of Health, most organs for transplants come from executed prisoners.
However, the numbers don’t add up, Matas said. “China would need over 30,000 executions a year to sustain 10,000 transplants sourced solely from prisoners sentenced to death.”
Matas, together with David Kilgour, a former Canadian MP and Secretary of State, are authors of the book “Bloody Harvest.” They say their investigation has convinced them that the main source of Chinese organ transplants since 2000 have been, and still are, Falun Gong practitioners who are detained in large numbers as prisoners of conscience in Chinese prisons and labor camps.
Some Falun Gong practitioners who were imprisoned in China and lucky enough to escape to the West, have said that they had to submit to extensive health checks of their vital organs, including having large amounts of blood drawn, that other inmates were not subjected to.
Feng Juang, a former research assistant at Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said he was illegally kidnapped by Chinese authorities and held for 20 months for refusing to give up practicing Falun Gong.
Feng told NTD that he believes it’s true that captive Falun Gong practitioners are being used for organ harvesting in China. He said after police took him into custody, he was sent to a hospital where he was given a very thorough examination.
“It was so thorough that it was abnormal. They checked my heart and other organs again and again,” he said.
Feng added that “fortunately” his health declined rapidly in the harsh environment, and he was released when he was on the brink of death.
Ma Xiaoming, a former news reporter for Shanxi Province TV, told The Epoch Times for an Oct. 21 Chinese language report that when he was serving a forced labor term in Xian in 2005, a fellow inmate, who was responsible for raising pigs, told him that he personally witnessed a live organ harvesting on an inmate said to be a Falun Gong practitioner.
Ma recalled the fellow inmate telling him: “They put him near the pigsty and smashed his head in with an iron tool like a gunstock. His brain oozed out from the heavy blow. Several police then quickly carried him to a nearby car. A doctor wearing a white gown immediately cut open his abdomen and harvested his organs. The pigs and dogs ate the brain matter and blood that was spattered on the ground.”