A pair of Kosovan doctors at the heart of an international kidney trafficking operation will be behind bars for the next eight years after being found guilty Thursday.
A decade has passed since a team of investigators first raided the doctors’ clinic, Medicus, in Pristina where the duet would conduct surgery on kidney donors from Turkey, Russia, Moldova, and Kazakhstan before wrapping the packages up and selling them mostly to wealthy Israelis.
For approximately €15,000 (US$17,570), Doctors Lutfi Dervishi, a urologist, and his partner Sokol Hajdini, anesthetist, sold their product across to their wealthy Israeli and Arab clientele, making roughly €100,000 (US$ 117,120) in profits. International donors were lured from their homes with “false promises of payment.”
Following Thursday’s court trial, the two were found guilty of "trafficking persons." Dervishi received a seven and a half-year jail sentence, €8,000 (US$9370) fine, and the revoke of his medical license for two years. While his conspirator, Hajdini, only received a one-year jail sentence.
The pair were first convicted in 2013, although the case was overturned by the supreme court due to an improper procedure in the preliminary trial.
Three other suspects connected to the case are still at large: Dervishi’s son Arban, who worked at the clinic and was charged, but escaped; a Turkish physician, Dr. Yusuf Sonmez also knowns as the "Turkish Frankenstein"- possibly the world's most infamous organ trafficker; and an Israeli citizen arrested by Interpol in Cyprus- whose extradition has been requested by Kosovan authorities.