According to an investigation released by the BBC on Tuesday, Lebanon has seen a surge in illegal organ trafficking in recent years, as Syrian refugees are forced to sell parts of their body in an effort to support their families.
The BBC interviewed an organ trafficker known as Abu Jaafar, who brokers organ deals and trades from a coffee shop in Beirut.
“I exploit people, that’s what I do,” Jaafar said, who continued to explain that despite his “booming” business being illegal, he sees it as a way to help people in need.
Lebanon has seen upwards of 1.5 million refugees enter the country since the Syrian conflict began in 2011. With many having no legal right to work, they are forced to resort to other extreme measures to survive.
— Nino Fezza (@nfcinereporter) April 30, 2017
Jaafar’s job consists of him finding willing clients, who he then blindfolds and delivers them to a doctor who performs surgery to remove one of their organs.
Most will sell a kidney, but Jaafar mentioned that one man was offering to sell his eye.
Jaafar will take care of the patients for a week after the surgery, but after that, they are none of his responsibility.
“The moment they lose the stitches we don’t care what happens to them any longer…
“I don’t care if the client dies, I got what I wanted. It’s not my problem what happens next as long as the client got paid.”
Jaafar refused to reveal the price paid for each organ, and is unsure as to what happens to the organs after they are harvested, but believes they are exported.