Greek Man Charged with Kidney Trafficking in Costa Rica

A Greek man is to be tried in Costa Rica as member of a criminal ring that was buying kidneys from poor people and selling them to foreign recipients.

The Greek man was arrested in 2013, when police also apprehended four doctors, among them the director of a major San Jose hospital’s nephrology unit, for their involvement.

According to a Kathimerini newspaper report, the man whose initials are given as “DK”, was the owner of a pizzeria in the country’s capital, San Jose.

“In 2009 and 2010, DK would seek foreign patients, typically Greeks, who needed a kidney transplant. Then he’d seek impoverished people willing to sell their kidneys, then set them up with doctors,” said the Costa Rican prosecutor, who told Kathimerini that at least three Greek nationals traveled to Costa Rica to undergo illegal kidney transplants.

According to the report, 14 people who were paid between 5,000 and 18,000 U.S. dollars to sell their kidneys are among the witnesses who will testify in the trial that is expected to last through early November.