(PHOTO: SOUTH AFRICA HUMAN ORGAN TRAFFICKING The wound left after an unidentified Brazilian man had an operation to remove his kidney in Durban in 2003. Photograph: EPA/STR(November 10, 2010)
South Africa's biggest private hospital group has admitted receiving R3.8m (£342,000) from an illegal organ trafficking syndicate in a scam that included the removal of kidneys from five children.
Netcare, which also runs hospitals in Britain, took part in an international scam that allegedly saw poor Brazilians and Romanians paid $6,000 (£3,840) for their kidneys to be transplanted to wealthy Israelis.
At the Durban regional court yesterday, Netcare KwaZulu (NKZ) pleaded guilty on 102 counts relating to illegal operations between June 2001 and November 2003. It was fined R7,820,000 (£704,000).
Police said these included five counts of "unlawfully acquiring and transplanting human kidneys by acquiring kidneys from five minors in law at the time the kidneys were transplanted".