Several doctors have been given prison sentences for harvesting kidneys from donors brought to Kosovo, and then selling the kidneys to patients treated at a clinic involved in illegal organ transplantation. The organ trafficking is believed to have international ramifications.
The court found eminent Kosovo doctor, Lutfi Dervishi, guilty of “human trafficking” and sentenced him to seven and a half years in prison. He is banned from practising medicine for two years and has to pay 8,000 Euros in damages. His anaesthetist, Sokol Hajdini, was jailed for two years.
Both doctors brought kidney donors from Turkey, Russia, Moldova and Kazakhstan to Kosovo. The kidneys were harvested in their Medicus clinic and sold to wealthy patients mainly of Israeli nationality.
The donors received 15,000 Euros for their organs whilst recipients had to pay 100,000 Euros for each kidney.
In the verdict, Lutfi Dervishi was described as a “member of an international criminal organisation that functioned as a structured group” recruiting patients and carrying out organ transplants.
The police focused their attention on the clinic after a Turkish donor was taken ill at Pristina Airport whilst waiting for his return flight to Istanbul. Two other suspects are on the run: a Turkish doctor, Yusuf Sonmez, and the son of Lutfi Dervishi, Arban, involved in the logistics. The last suspect, Moshe Harel, an Israeli, sentenced for her involvement in the trafficking, was arrested in Cyprus last January. Kosovo has demanded his extradition.