By John Lee.
According to a report from BBC, Iraqi gangs are offering up to $10,000 for a kidney, and have been increasingly targeted the country's poor.
Almost a quarter of the country’s population live in abject poverty, and some destitute families are actively seeking out organ traders.
Firas al-Bayati, a human rights lawyer, said:
"The phenomenon is so widespread that authorities are not capable of fighting it.
"I have personally dealt over the past three months with 12 people who were arrested for selling their kidneys. And poverty was the reason behind their acts."
Under Iraqi law only relatives are allowed to donate organs their organs to one and other. The trafficking of organs is strictly prohibited, with penalties ranging from three years in prison to death.
(Sources: BBC, Bioedge)
(Organ transplant image via Shutterstock)