Three South African Indian doctors have been charged of alleged involvement in a scam, which saw Brazilians being paid paltry sums for their kidneys, which were transplanted into mainly Israeli clients.
The medical men were allegedly part of a team that performed more than 110 transplants at the St Augustine Hospital, which, according to the prosecutors were illegal.
The charges were framed after local police uncovered a syndicate that recruited donors from Brazil who were paid a few hundred dollars for their organs. In addition, the Israeli recipients of the kidneys are said to have paid more than $100,000 each for the operations.
The Human Tissue Act disallows payment for organ donation, while the fraud charges relate to the doctors who certified that the donors were blood relatives of the recipients and that no money had changed hands.
Representatives for the doctors have said they assisted in the operations to alleviate the plight of patients without knowing that the organs had been obtained through illegal means.