MANILA, Philippines -- A SUDANESE MAN ACCUSED OF LEADING an organ trafficking ring was arrested in Makati City recently, the Bureau of Immigration said on Friday.
The man, identified as Badreldin Elzaki Ibraim El Habib, 31, was nabbed by immigration agents at his condominium unit in Makati City on Sept. 17.
Immigration chief Marcelino Libanan said Habib was a key figure in a Manila-based organ smuggling syndicate.
The bureau said it has received complaints from Saudi Arabia-based patients and the Saudi government about Habib?s illegal activities in the Philippines.
Henry Tubban Sr., chief of BI-Manila, said the complainants accused Habib of swindling them.
The suspect, he said, had the help of Filipino medical practitioners who would convince the patients abroad that it would be better for them to have their organ transplants in the Philippines, where donors are easy to find.
After arriving in Manila and giving their money to the suspect, Habib and his cohorts would disappear from their clients, the agency said.
Habib entered the country in July 2000 and was able to initially secure a student visa, the bureau said.
He failed to renew it when it expired in January 2004. Habib is currently undergoing deportation proceedings for being an overstaying alien.
The Philippines is stepping up its efforts against human organ trafficking.
The Health department recently issued guidelines for organ donations after the World Health Organization and other international bodies tagged the country as one of the main sources of trafficked organs.