Refugees are selling organs to pay for their escape, Dutch tv programme says

Some refugees are paying smugglers to bring them into Europe by selling a kidney, a Dutch television investigation will say on Wednesday night.

Researchers with the Zembla current affairs programme spoke to an organ trader in Cairo who says dozens of people have taken the drastic step to finance their trip. Most are in Germany but one is in the Netherlands and one in France. Others are in Ireland, Britain, Sweden and Norway.

The traders work on behalf of Egyptian transplant surgeons who sell the kidneys to wealthy people in the Middle East. One trader who recruited Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers told the programme he is paid €20,000 a kidney.

Criminologist Frederike Ambagtsheer, who specialises in the organ trade, told Zembla that it is the first time she has heard of refugees selling a kidney to pay for their trip.

The programme will be broadcast at 21.15 on NPO2. has been free for 12 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
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