HUNAN PROVINCE, CHINA (RNN) – Authorities in China arrested five people after a 17-year-old boy sold his kidney to buy an iPad and iPhone.
Reuters reported the teen, identified only as Wang, lived in Anhui, one of China's poorest provinces. He admitted to his mother that he sold one of his organs when she asked where he got the money for the new Apple devices.
The products are popular there, as in the U.S., but unaffordable for many. An iPhone costs the equivalent of $633 or more, while an iPad starts at $474.
The five people arrested included the surgeon.
Another of the suspects reportedly received 220,000 yuan (about $35,000) to arrange the transplant. He paid Wang 22,000 yuan and split the rest among the surgeon, the others arrested and some medical staff.
The government-run Xinghua news agency stated Wang's renal deficiency has been deteriorating since the April 2011 surgery.
Many in need of an organ transplant in China are unable to get them, leading patients to travel overseas for surgery, as well as a human organ black market.
China banned the trading of human organs in 2007. Reuters stated several other suspects involved in the case were being investigated.