Australian police said Thursday they had launched their first organ trafficking investigation after an elderly kidney patient reportedly brought a Filipina to Sydney for harvesting purposes.
Police said a house had been raided in March in relation to “suspected organ trafficking” and a probe was under way.
“This is the first organ trafficking case investigated by the Australian Federal Police,” a spokeswoman told AFP.
Officers usually tasked with people trafficking and sex slavery crimes were examining the case, she added, declining to detail the specific allegations.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald the case relates to an elderly woman with a kidney condition who brought a younger woman from the Philippines with the intent to harvest an organ.
The deal was reportedly made without the Filipina’s full consent and uncovered during pre-surgical screening interviews at a Sydney hospital.
Transplant Australia said there were 1,951 people on the national organ waiting list and strict donation procedures meant an illegal transplant involving a trafficked organ would be almost impossible to carry out.
“If someone walks in and says, ‘Hey, this is my friend from the Philippines,’ it would immediately raise suspicions,” said Kidney Health Australia director Tim Matthew.
“No one in the medical system is going to risk doing that.”