Syrian refugees selling organs for the chance to reach Europe

The illegal trade of human organs in the Middle East has surged recently as Syrian refugees seek money to afford smugglers’ fees for a Mediterranean Sea crossing to Europ

One young Syrian man, who gave his name as Mayar, fled his war-torn Syrian village for Cairo, hoping to be able to earn a living and support his family in that city. But that was unsuccessful.

“By God, I don’t know how much money I can make from my kidney, but I have no other solution,” A refugee given the pseudonym “Mayar” said to Vocativ in a recent interview. “Life in Egypt is expensive.”

Mayar said that last month he posted an ad on a Facebook group called “Sell Kidney Online,” describing himself as a “young Syrian man living in Egypt…O positive blood type… interested in donating my kidney in exchange for a monetary sum so that I may be able to survive my circumstances. Please reply as soon as possible.”

A price list on the social media page shows the going rates from kidneys around the world -- From $650 in Kenya to as much as $300,000 in South Africa and Europe. It is often enough for refugees to pay the approximately $1,000 per person fee smugglers typically charge for a one-way ride on an often unseaworthy boat across the Mediterranean.

Experts say that both Egypt and Turkey have become hot spots for organ trafficking due to the large amount of refugees and migrants. And most of the money is going towards not only criminal networks, but terrorist organizations as well.


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