WASHINGTON (JTA) — A U.S. professor reportedly alerted the FBI to kidney trafficking years before a sting operation in New Jersey.
Nancy Scheper-Hughes, a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, tipped off authorities seven years ago after learning of Levy-Izhak Rosenbaum’s alleged crimes through her research, Ha’aretz wrote.
Rosenbaum was among 44 people arrested July 23 in a two-year probe that snared high-ranking politicians and religious leaders involved in a money-laundering scheme.
According to the Israeli daily, Scheper-Hughes’ sources said that Rosenbaum held donors at gunpoint when they considered backing out of the procedure. Many donors were villagers from poor communities in Eastern Europe.
According to Scheper-Hughes’ research, one out of every five adult men in Moldova’s poorest villages have had a kidney removed.
The U.S. State Department said in 2004 that "it would be impossible to conceal a clandestine organ trafficking ring."