A Venezuelan woman has been arrested for trying to sell a “perfect” teenage girl’s kidney on social media.
The woman, named as Marielys del Carmen Yedr, was reported to the police by outraged netizens after advertising the kidney on Facebook Marketplace.
She reportedly asked for USD 20,000 for the “perfect” kidney of a 15-year-old girl.
In the description, the suspect wrote in first person: “I am selling my kidney. I am 15 years old and it is in perfect condition.”
However, the suspect appears much older than 15 years old in her mugshot and it is unclear if she was lying in the advert or whether she had a girl in mind.
Attorney General Tarek William Saab said the suspect will be prosecuted by the authorities “following adverts in which she illegally offered a kidney on ‘Marketplace’ for the amount of USD 20,000”.
Saab added: “The location of one of the people who made this type of offer was identified and it was possible to verify the content of the publication made on her phone.”
Saab said the woman will be charged with ‘donation for profit’ and that the authorities are investigating whether a “criminal network” is behind the Marketplace advert as well as other possible organ sales on social networks.
According to reports, thousands of Venezuelan patients are struggling to receive medical treatment for kidney conditions due to hyperinflation and the severe economic crisis that has ravaged the socialist country for over a decade.
Venezuela’s organ transplant programme was suspended in 2017 and President Nicolas Maduro’s government claimed it was down to the economic sanctions imposed on the country. However, several health NGOs said the country’s transplant programme began to show serious flaws since as far back as 2015.
The investigation into the Marketplace advert continues.