Illicit kidney trade is now full-fledged to the extent of nearly 10,000 black market operations involving buying of illegal human organs take place every year, or more than one an hour, experts at World Health Organization state.
Data collected from the WHO reveal that about 73,179, or 68.5 percent, kidneys were transplanted out of the 106,879 organs that were transplanted in 95 states in 2010, legally and illegally.
Patients, many of whom go to China, India or Pakistan for surgery, pay up to 200,000 dollars for a kidney to traffickers who get organs from vulnerable, desperate people, sometimes for as little as 5,000 dollars.
According to Luc Noel, a doctor and WHO official who runs a unit monitoring trends in legitimate and underground donations and transplants of human organs, revealed that kidneys make up to 75 percent of the global illicit trade in organs.
"While commercial transplantation is now forbidden by law in China, that's difficult to enforce; there's been a resurgence there in the last two or three years", The Guardian quoted a medical source with knowledge of the situation as saying.
"Foreigners from the Middle East, Asia and sometimes Europe come and are paying $100,000 to $200,000 for a transplant. Often they are Chinese expats or patients of Chinese descent," the source said.
Networks of doctors, known as 'custodian groups', have been collecting proof of illegal trafficking in various countries.
The groups are working to support the Declaration of Istanbul, the 2008 statement against global organ exploitation that was agreed by almost 100 nations.