The Stolen Kidney

The Missing Kidney.

This is a story many people around the world believe.  Sometimes the location has been Turkey, other times it has been set in Australia and in parts of the world such as Africa, South America and Eastern Europe. We have heard the tale take place in nightclubs, strip clubs, restaurants and hotels. Once it was even released as an apparent official warning at an international company. In fact, in the world of Urban Legends it is something of an old chestnut. It goes like this;

Travellers Beware:

‘We wish to warn all employees about a crime ring that is targeting business travellers. They are well organised, ruthless, well funded and involves highly skilled criminals who operate in many major cities around the world, most recently in Warsaw, Poland. The crime takes place when a business traveller relaxes in the lounge bar of their hotel and is approached and joined by another seemingly respectable businessman or lady. At some point a sedative is added to the drink and the next thing the traveller knows they are waking up in a bath full of iced water in a hotel bedroom. There will be a note taped to the wall and telephone left nearby. The note warns the traveller not to move but to phone for an ambulance immediately. In these cases it has been reported that important body organs such as kidneys have been removed and stolen by specialist surgeons, who set up makeshift operating theatres in adjoining rooms and then sell them onto major hospitals for transplant. Will all employees please be aware and do not accept drinks from strangers in foreign cities.’

This story has been reported as true since the mid 1990’a with many newspapers around the world printing similar warnings but, although there is little or no evidence confirming any such muggings it is fair to say, in respect of any act at all, that if the human mind can imagine it, then someone, somewhere in this world, is probably doing it, right at this moment.

However, what is known and well documented is that the sale of body organs is flourishing, especially in some of the poorer area of Nepal, India. In the village of Hokse in the Kavre district, only 50 miles away from the country’s capital city, it has been reported by some villagers that as many as seventy five locals have sold a kidney for up to 60,000 Rupees each, which by today’s exchange rate equals around £750 and is a small fortune for them. There have also been reports in some of the worlds poorer countries of people agreeing to give blood for a fee, only to find out later they had a kidney removed in the process. Whilst it is easy to dismiss such stories as fantasy and legend, just remember this. It could happen!

And sometimes in even more sinister circumstances. After all, the Moscow News, on the 25th October 2005, reported that a woman had been jailed for six years for selling her own daughter’s vital organs. The news agency claims that an official statement posted on the Russian Prosecutor’s Office Website announced that Olga Zelentsova had been found guilty of human trafficking of a minor committed with the intent of the victim’s exploitation or withdrawal of the victim’s organs or tissues. The court had found that the alcoholic and unemployed mother had attempted to sell her own six-year-old daughter for US$10,000 to an undercover police officer acting as a potential customer. The woman had been told the child would be sexually abused and then probably used as a donor for body parts.

Extract from The President’s Brain is Missing (And Other Urban Legends)

Available in UK here and US here

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