NEWS

Kidney adverts under scrutiny

A judicial investigation has been ordered into the possibility of an organized human-organ trafficking ring operating in Greece after adverts for the sale of human kidneys were found in Athens and Piraeus hospitals, court sources said yesterday. The probe, conducted by Athens and Piraeus prosecutors, is still at a preliminary phase and is focusing on photocopied, handwritten notices on display at the Tzaneio and Evangelismos hospitals that offered «kidneys for sale by a healthy gentleman,» listing a mobile phone number for further details. Prosecutors will seek to establish whether the advert, if not a hoax, was placed by somebody desperate for ready cash or whether it could be linked with an organized criminal ring. Police and coast guard sources told Kathimerini that organ-trafficking gangs, if active in the country, could have close ties with the people-smuggling rings that bring thousands of Asian and African illegal immigrants into Greece every year.