Cairo security arrested two new suspects in connection to a case concerning homeless children whose blood was collected and sold for profit, security authorities said Wednesday.
Preliminary investigations showed evidence that a chemist and a laboratory specialist allegedly convinced children to donate blood for LE10, after which they sold each bag of blood to hospitals for LE180.
Security forces arrested the suspects, identified as laboratory specialist Emad M., and chemist and laboratory specialist Mohamed A., who works at the Red Crescent Hospital blood bank.
Another suspect had previously confessed that he paid LE85 per bag and then resold each bag for LE195 to blood banks at the Rahma Hospital in Heliopolis, the Ibn Sina Hospital in Dokki and the Rady Hospital in Tanta.
The Sayeda Zeinab prosecutor on Friday started investigating two other suspects, who are accused of selling the blood of homeless Cairo children to a hospital in Gharbiya Governorate. The two defendants allegedly recruited children between 10 and 18 years old from squares and under bridges, and gave them LE10 and a meal in return for their blood.
Prosecutor Ahmed al-Abraq accused them of trafficking human beings, working without a license and polluting the environment. Preliminary investigations suggest the defendants took the children to an apartment in Mounira, a neighborhood near downtown Cairo, and drew their blood.
They allegedly convinced the children that the apartment was a blood-testing lab, then sold their blood to the hospital for LE85 per bag.
Abraq summoned the children to appear for questioning and ordered drug tests on the six bags of blood.
He collected statements from a number of eyewitnesses and neighbors who claimed that a large number of children of different ages frequented the apartment and were inside for between an hour and an hour and a half.
The defendants confessed to recruiting more than 500 children from around the Sayeda Zeinab and Hussein mosques, and collecting two bags of blood from each child.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm