Police in Czech Republic have arrest over alleged organ black market

Police in the Czech Republic have questioned a 38-year-old man for allegedly buying human organs and sending them to Slovakia as part of a €2 million ($2.3 million) black market trade in rare organs.

Police raided the man’s Czech home and office on Tuesday after raids in Slovakia last week as part of an operation involving U.S. law enforcement officials and an international investigation of a bizarre black market trade in organs. In the Czech Republic, the police said the man was an unemployed nurse who had attended medical school and was receiving medical training in Germany. He fled Slovakia when police tried to question him.

The Czech arrest came after authorities in Slovakia announced Tuesday they had made a record number of arrests in an investigation into an alleged black market in human organs. The 23 suspects include 19 in Slovakia and seven in Hungary. Officials found about a dozen employees of a private practice, including one doctor, handing out plastic syringes containing frozen human kidneys. (To make matters more troubling, police said that the suspects may have been part of a shipping network and some had been able to smuggle the organs out of Slovakia via Germany.)

And it gets worse! Federal agents and police in the Czech Republic raided a private clinic last week, seizing blood analysis slides that showed the identities of both victims of apparent poisoning and their possible killers. The Czech authorities found an alleged blackmailer making business deals. The police also found plastic bags of a moldy white substance, which they believe are the remains of the victims of apparent poisoning.

As a result of the seizure of medical records and other materials, the Czech authorities said it has reopened a case of suspected poisoning.

Read more of the lead in the Croatian language service of TIME.

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