Two Turkish doctors accused in organ transplant scam among arrested in Ukraine

Two Turkish doctors were among arrested suspects for allegedly running an organ trafficking network in Ukraine and selling organs to Turkey and the Philippines, daily Habertürk reported on May 10. 

Ukraine police last month detained the two Turkish men at the country’s Borispol International Airport over allegations that they were running an organ trafficking gang and selling the organs of underprivileged people. 

The duo has been accused of bringing four to five people every month to Turkey and framing it as “health tourism.” They have allegedly been earning $80,000 to 100,000 for every transport. 

Habertürk said they have reached the investigation file of the Kiev prosecution office, and gave the names of the doctors as Hakan Tarakçıoğlu and Yahya Öztel.

Two Ukrainians were also arrested in the investigation, it said. 

After spotting poor Ukrainians and offering them $13,000 to 15,000 for their kidneys, the suspects referred low-income earners to Turkish doctors, who allegedly brought them to Turkey or the Philippines, selling the organs starting at a price of $100,000. 

The duo who has recently appeared in a Ukrainian court denied the accusations. “Everything we have done was legal. These people were our patients’ donors and friends. They have declared that they have a friendship with the patients,” they reportedly told the judges. 

The court set the bail at $3 million, but the doctors are being kept in jail after they said they could not afford to pay the amount, according to the daily. 

The trial was postponed to June 9. 

The prosecutors have reportedly been seeking 8 to 15 years of imprisonment for the doctors.

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