PETALING JAYA: The Nigerian government is investigating incidences of illegal organ harvesting by syndicates that are allegedly operating in Malaysia as well as several other countries.
Its National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (Naptip) said the activity, which involves removing and selling a human organ without the consent of the person it is taken from, has also been reported in Egypt, India and other countries.
Naptip director-general Julie Okah-Donli was quoted by The Punch, a local newspaper, as saying that the crime had been festering for many years because it was “highly profitable” to the perpetrators, with Nigerians being among the victims.
“We are not only looking at Egypt, we are also looking at India, Malaysia and so many other countries,” she was quoted as saying.
“Organ harvesting has been going on for so many years. Very soon, we will come out with our findings on this problem and we will address the issues,” she said.
She added that the countries also needed to look into other human trafficking-related offences like pornography and prostitution because there was a lot of demand for these as well.
Okah-Donli was cited as saying that the profits derived from the organ harvesting business were high.
“You know, there are a lot of people in need of organ transplants. They are ready to buy these organs for any amount because they are desperate to live. So, people buy a lot of organs overseas,” The Punch quoted her today as saying in an interview.
Okah-Donli said she blamed Nigerians collaborating with the perpetrators in foreign countries and the criminal rings there who she claimed were taking youths away from Nigeria for the purpose.
“The demand for this illegal and criminal business is very high from the destination countries.
“But if the destination countries can help to make sure that the business does not thrive, it will be better for us,” she was quoted as saying.