The case marks the first time a defendant has been convicted of conspiracy to harvest organs under the Modern Slavery Act. Donating a kidney is legal, but it becomes a crime when monetary or other material benefits are rewarded.
Thursday 23 March 2023 15:48 UK
A Nigerian senator, his wife and a medical “middleman” have been found guilty of conspiring to traffic a market trader to the UK to harvest his kidneys.
Politician Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, and daughter Sonia, 25, have been charged with conspiring to take a man from Lagos to the UK to obtain his body parts. rice field.
The 21-year-old street trader is said to have been rewarded for donating an organ to Sonia Ekwemadu in a personal procedure of £80,000 at London’s Royal Free Hospital.
Dr. Obinna Obeta, 50, a medical “middleman,” was found guilty.
Ekweremadus’ daughter Sonia, 25, who has severe kidney disease, wept as the same charges were removed.
The case marks the first time a defendant has been convicted of conspiracy to harvest organs under the Modern Slavery Act.
Donating a kidney is legal, but it becomes a crime when monetary or other material benefits are rewarded.
Prosecutors alleged that donors were offered up to £7,000 along with the promise of a better life in the UK.
The donor didn’t realize he was there for a kidney transplant until his first appointment with the hospital’s consultant, Old Bailey heard.
He was told by a consultant that he had a “limited understanding” of why he was there, and was “visibly relieved” to be told the operation was not progressing.
Allegations were made that he was unsuccessfully persuaded by a doctor to perform the operation at the Royal Freedom Hospital, and that he was falsely introduced as Sonia’s cousin.
For legal reasons, the donor cannot be identified.
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Mr. and Mrs. Ekweremadus, who reside in Willesden Green, north-west London, and Dr. Obeta, from Southwark, south London, denied the charges against them.
Superintendent Andy Furphy praised the courage of survivors and called for attention to the victims of modern slavery.
Prosecutor Joanne Jakymec called it a “horrible conspiracy” and said the defendants “completely disregarded the welfare, health and well-being of the victims.”
The victim entered the police station crying
After the court found that Dr. Peter Dupont, a consultant at the Royal Free Hospital, had not been counseled or advised about the risks of the surgery and lacked funds for the lifelong care he needed, the court ruled that the donor I heard that he concluded that he was not a suitable candidate.
Undeterred, a ‘corrupt interpreter’ was allegedly hired for £1,500 to assist the donor with his second hospital interview with the surgeon.
An investigation has been launched after a young man fled London and after many days of rough sleep ended up crying and in agony at a police station in Staines, Surrey, more than 20 miles away.
He told police he didn’t understand why he had been brought to England until he met Dr. You said you would bring me back, please do it in Nigeria.
“I’ve been sleeping outside for three days, looking for someone to help me, someone to save my life.”
At trial, the defendants argued that they believed the donor was acting “altruistically.”
When a transplant bid failed, Ekweremadus is said to have turned his attention to Turkey to find more potential donors.
Politician thought he was ‘cheated’
Ike Ekwemadu, who owns real estate in Nigeria and Dubai, said he trusted medical professionals but suspected he had been “scammed.”
Regarding how politicians treated donors, prosecutor Hugh Davis KC asked: Did you feel that you owe him nothing? “
The senator replied: “Never. It was a big scam.”
The couple were asked why they didn’t ask a member of their own family to “step up” and donate a kidney to their daughter.
This has led prosecutors to argue that it’s “much better for them to buy one and leave the medical risks to someone they don’t know.”
Sonia Ekwelemadu, who receives weekly dialysis, refused to provide evidence, but was told on her behalf that she knew nothing about the compensation offered to donors.
Judge Johnson ordered the remand of the convicted defendant on May 5.