NUR-SULTAN -- The head of a hospital in Kazakhstan has been arrested on suspicion of organizing illegal kidney transplants for clients from foreign countries.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement late on November 19 that Abylai Donbai, the chief physician of hospital No. 1 in the southern city of Shymkent, was arrested and charged with taking part in activities of a transnational criminal group and the illegal extraction of human organs.
According to the statement, investigators revealed that in 2017-18, a criminal group was operating in Kazakhstan, providing recipients from foreign countries, mainly Israel, with kidneys illegally extracted from citizens of Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, who "due to dramatic economic situations agreed to sell their kidneys."
Two other suspects in the case, including another physician of the hospital, were arrested earlier in 2019.