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LAST_UPDATESat, 23 May 2015 10am

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HANGZHOU: Nine people have stood trial in China for allegedly selling their own kidneys on the black market and then recruiting others to sell theirs.

Prosecutors allege the defendants, all of whom are under the age of 30, recruited people via the Internet to sell their kidneys in Hangzhou City. 

The kidney trafficking ring allegedly recruited 38 people dating back to November 2011, 11 of whom sold their kidneys before Hangzhou police made arrests in May 2012, Xinhua reported.In court yesterday the prosecutor asked Lyu Qing, one of the nine alleged traffickers, how much could be earnt from a successful operation and sale of a kidney, to which he replied: 'About 20,000 yuan (RM15,043).'

He was said to have earned a total of 161,00 yuan (RM11,752) through kidney trafficking until he was arrested, according to Xinhua.

The people willing to sell their kidneys were based at rented houses in the city's Jianggan District, with the sale of their kidneys taking place from November 2011, according to the district prosecutor.The case has shone a spotlight on the illicit organ trade in China triggered by the disparity between 1.5million people on hospital transplant waiting lists and the fact that only 10,000 organ transplant operations are performed each year.

Few Chinese agree to donate their organs after death, fuelling the rampant llegal market activity.

In December last year a Chinese surgeon and six accomplices were jailed for illegal organ trading and intentional injury after a teenager sold them his kidney to buy an iPad and iPhone.

Song Zhongyu performed the back-street operation on the 17-year-old schoolboy, identified only as Wang, who agreed to part with the organ in exchange for gadgets worth around £1,900 (RM8,932).

The student's mother raised the alarm after she became suspicious about where he had got the money for his new gizmos.

He finally admitted to the deal when he began suffering from renal failure, telling how he had met the gang in an online chat room.