Times of Israel
June 9, 2014
An Israeli man suspected of illegally trafficking in human organs has been detained in Cyprus for using a fake passport.
Uzi Shmueli, a former professional soccer player for Hapoel Beersheba, allegedly headed a crime ring that lured struggling young Israeli women, mostly from the south of the country, to Turkey and paid them NIS 20,000 (some $5,750) for their kidneys.
Israeli authorities suspected that he had fled abroad after they opened an investigation into the alleged trafficking ring.
Past reports indicated Israeli patients would pay up to $20,000 for a black market kidney, though it is not clear if Israelis were Shmueli’s main recipients.
Shmueli was traveling to Cyprus to see his wife and daughter, according to the Ynet news site, and was arrested upon his arrival at Larnaca airport. When he presented his passport to authorities, they discovered it was forged. A Cypriot judge sentenced him to four months in prison.