Organ Trafficking Increasing in S. Korea

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A growing number of South Koreans are turning to the Internet to advertise the sale of their organs in order to overcome financial challenges, reports the Korea Times.

The paper cites the case of a 35-year-old resident of Incheon, outside Seoul, who opted to advertise the sale of his kidney over the Internet in order to “earn a substantial sum of money at one time” and thereby overcome mounting debts stemming from a failed business venture.

The paper notes that reports of such messages, which are illegal and carry terms of up to two years in prison, have spiked this year to 357 from 174 in 2010. The report also states that while illegal organ trafficking is clearly on the rise, arrests relating to the practice have decreased, reflecting an unwillingness on the part of police authorities to crack down on the problem.

Along with economic hardship, the relative lack of donors in the country is also contributing to the rise in illegal organ trafficking, the article says.

Read the full report here.