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Top officer charged in organ trafficking

April 22, 2010 at 8:16 PM

NAZARETH, Israel, April 22 (UPI) -- A top Israeli military officer and four others were charged with 10 counts pertaining to organ trafficking, court records showed.

Brig.-Gen. Meir Zamir, 62, of Rishon Lezion is suspected of leading a group of organ traffickers that included brother Michael and Yaakov Golub, ages 40 and 34, Netanel Moyal, 34, and Shlomi Biton, 31, Ynetnews reported Thursday.

Zamir and his associates are accused of harvesting organs and paying the donors tens of thousands of dollars while they charged buyers in need of an organ transplant about $100,000, Ynetnews reported.

The group also is accused of creating documentation that falsely showed those who gave up their organs consented to a free-will donation and received no monetary compensation, the indictment indicated.

"The defendants operated in an organized, systematic and ongoing manner, and traded in human beings like they were objects being passed from hand to hand, for the sake of harvesting their kidneys," attorney Bassem Kandalaft of the Northern District Prosecution wrote in the indictment.

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