SAN JOSE - A doctor and a pizzeria owner were sentenced by a Costa Rican court Monday for recruiting poor people to sell their kidneys for transplants to foreigners, mainly Israelis.
The Costa Rican doctor found guilty of conducting illegal transplants, Francisco Mora Palma, was jailed for 12 years under the verdict reached by a panel of three judges in the capital San Jose.
A Greek businessman, Dimostenes Katsigiannis, was ordered imprisoned for eight years for locating would-be organ donors and offering them between US$3,000 (S$4,038) and US$6,000 for one of their kidneys.
Three other doctors charged with being part of a ring led by Mora Palma were acquitted for lack of evidence.
Mora Palma was the head of the nephrology unit that deals with kidney diseases at a public hospital in San Jose.
Police arrested the five suspects in 2013, after determining they had carried out 14 kidney transplants that mainly went to Israelis but also to European clients willing to pay as much as US$100,000 each.