(AFP) – Jul 4, 2008
SINGAPORE (AFP) — Two Indonesian men have been jailed and fined for involvement in illegal organ trading, a court official said Friday, in the first such case to be tried in Singapore.
Both men agreed to sell their kidneys, but Judge Bala Reddy said syndicates had exploited their "poor and socially disadvantaged background," and they had not solicited offers for the organs, The Straits Times newspaper reported.
Sulaiman Damanik, 26, was sentenced to two weeks' jail and a fine of 1,000 dollars (735 US), while Toni, 27, received a 14-week sentence and 2,000-dollar fine, the report said, adding both were from a rural village in Indonesia.
A court official confirmed the sentences when contacted by AFP but provided no other details.
The men admitted in court to lying about being related to patients to whom they said they were donating kidneys. They also lied about not being paid for their organs, the health ministry said in an earlier statement.
Organ trading is banned in Singapore and in many other countries to prevent the exploitation of "poor and socially disadvantaged donors who are unable to make informed choices and suffer potential medical risks," the health ministry said earlier.
In Singapore about 600 people are on a kidney waiting list with an average wait of nine years, according to the Straits Times.
Toni donated a kidney to an Indonesian patient in March, it said.
He had told the ethics committee at a Singapore hospital that he was the patient's adopted son, and was paid around 186 million rupiah (20,200 US), the report said.
Sulaiman had agreed to sell his kidney to Singaporean retail magnate Tang Wee Sung for 150 million rupiah, the report said. He had also posed as a relative.
Tang's operation did not go ahead after police began investigating organ trading allegations, the newspaper said.
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