May 29, 2012, Hangzhou - Police in Hangzhou, capital of eastern Zhejiang Province has crashed two illegal kidney trafficking rings based respectively in Changmujinyuan residential complex and Linding Commercial Center in Jianggan District. So far 28 young men have been rescued. Those living in the so called kidney trafficking base are all young men either being in debt or wanting to make quick money.
According to Shanghai Dongfang Morning Post, a netizen @耒牯子谢良兵 posted a microblog claiming that nearly 30 young men who were either in debt or wanted to earn quick money were waiting for surgery and cash payment of 35,000 yuan (US$5,533.5) for one kidney.
After reading the post, a reporter of Dongfang Morning Post conducted investigation and visited the kidney trafficking base and found the base was housed in a residential complex Changmujinyuanli located where Linding Road connects Tiandou Road in Jianggan District. The residential complex looks as normal as others and nobody could imagine that a group of young men were living there waiting for customers to buy their kidney.
According to the report, the kidney supplied by this kidney trafficking base is priced nationwide at 35,000 RMB (roughly 5500 USD). Those wanting to sell their kidney are mostly young men. The reasons for selling their kidneys are usually being in debt or thinking making money as migrant worker was too slow.
The whole process begin when the donors arrive at the train station. They will be sent to a lodging to complete a series of medical checks, blood tests, and then sign the agreement. Qualified donors will be “shipped” to another location and waiting for operations. Cell phones will be taken away, and personal freedom are restricted in case anybody changed their mind.
The donors are often reluctant to mention why do they come to sell their kidney. It is all covered by silence, cigarettes or frolics. One of them said ” I used to think selling one’s own kidney is a terrifying thing to do, haven’t thought about me now being one of them.”
Every year there are nearly 1 million Chinese maintaining their life by kidney dialysis. But only about 4,000 of them were lucky to have a legal transplant last year. The shortage of donated kidneys has led to a boom of underground organ trade.