JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli man believed to be behind an organ-trafficking ring has evaded capture, according to a monthlong police investigation.
The main suspect is from Beersheva and is in his 40s, police in southern Israel said.
A gag order on the organ-trafficking case was lifted on Tuesday.
Young women reportedly were convinced to travel to Turkey to provide organs for transplant into older, wealthier women. They were promised thousands of dollars for the service.
Turkish police also are investigating the case, according to Haaretz.
Police were made aware of the scheme last month, when an 18-year-old who had flown to Turkey to have her kidney removed returned to Israel after changing her mind about the surgery. Her parents filed a complaint with Beersheva police.
The young women were introduced to the would-be recipients to form an emotional bond and thus ensure their cooperation, Ynet reported. Many of the women interviewed for the investigation said they did not receive money for their act, though police believe they did receive payment in cash.