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Couple Charged Over Plot To 'Fly Child To UK To Harvest Their Organs'

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Couple Charged Over Plot To 'Fly Child To UK To Harvest Their Organs'

A man and woman have been charged with attempting to fly a child to the UK to harvest their organs.

Beatrice Ekweremadu, 55, and Ike Ekweremadu, 60, are set to appear at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court later today, 23 June, after the Metropolitan Police began looking into potential offences under modern slavery legislation in May 2022.

The pair, from Nigeria, have both been charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.

The couple have been apprehended and charged. Credit: Alamy
The couple have been apprehended and charged. Credit: Alamy
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The Ekweremadus have both been remanded in custody ahead of their appearance in court.

In a statement addressing the matter, a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: "The charges follow an investigation by the Metropolitan Police's Specialist Crime team... A child has been safeguarded and we are working closely with partners on continued support. As criminal proceedings are now under way we will not be providing further details."

In 2004, the UK government passed the Human Tissue Act to help tackle the concern of organ trafficking and modern day slavery, ensuring that living organ donors have made an informed and voluntary decision to donate their organ free from duress, coercion and reward.

According to a 2020 article published in the National Library of Medicine, 10 percent of all organ transplants worldwide are believed to be illegal, equating to approximately 12,000 organs per year.

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Migrants are thought to be among the most vulnerable populations for illegal organ trafficking, the article explains, with many facing poor socio-economic and political conditions in their own countries.

Approximately 10 percent of organ transplants are said to be illegal. Credit: Pixabay
Approximately 10 percent of organ transplants are said to be illegal. Credit: Pixabay

Situations of vulnerability can occur for migrants while en route to new countries or after having settled in a host country, when migrants may be exposed to abuse and exploitation by smugglers and opportunists.

Organ harvesting falls into the category of modern slavery, which also includes human trafficking, forced labour, sexual exploitation and criminal exploitation.

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Harvesting involves the illegal removal of a person's internal organs, which can then be sold, the Met explains.

Police have stressed that communities 'have an important role to play in recognising abuse', and urges anyone who may suspect someone to be a victim of modern slavery to speak out.

"You will always be taken seriously and protection and support is available," the Met says.

"To report a suspicion or seek advice you can contact the Modern Slavery Helpline confidentially on 08000 121 700. This is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can report modern slavery online or call us on 101 at any time to report an incident. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our textphone service on 18001 101."

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LADbible has contacted the Met for further comment.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: UK News

Emily Brown
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