- Middle East/North Africa
The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced five people, including a medical technician, to three years in prison and a collective fine of LE 500,000 on Wednesday for trafficking blood taken from street children.
The court said in its ruling that although there is no specific law banning the trafficking of blood, human and organ trafficking is illegal in Egypt, which was the basis for its decision.
According to prosecutors, two of the accused regularly brought street youth to apartments where they would take their blood "for analysis" in exchange for LE10 and a meal. The men would then take the blood and sell it on the black market for LE 85 a bag.
Investigators found six blood bags ready to be sold and another 30 empty bags in addition to other medical equipment in a Mounira apartment belonging to the accused.
Large quantities of narcotics were also found as well as a note book with the names of 40 children whose blood had been taken.
According to investigators, street children were primarily taken from Sayeda Zeinab and Imbaba districts in Cairo.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm