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Nine sentenced in Chinese kidney-for-iPad scheme

There's a transplant op for that

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Note to Apple fanbois: If anyone approaches you with an offer to fund your iOS addiction in exchange for your internal organs, that person might be a criminal.

So says the shocking verdict from the Chenzhou Intermediate People's Court in Hunan province, China, which on Thursday found nine people guilty of illegally purchasing a kidney from a 17-year-old, who promptly used the money to buy a new iPhone and iPad.

The teenaged victim, patronymic Wang, reportedly received 22,000 yuan ($3,532, £2,205) for the organ, while the defendants pocketed a total of 198,000 yuan ($31,790, £19,867) in payment for the illegal transplant.

The deal went south, however, when young Wang's mother found her son in poor health and became suspicious. Legal charges soon followed.

According to a report from the Xinhua news agency, seven of the nine defendants were sentenced for intentional injury, while two others were exempted from punishment due to their minor roles in the kidney-for-kit scheme.

The ringleader of the organlegging gang, He Wei, was sentenced to five years in prison. Yin Shen, who recruited Wang on an internet chat room in 2011, was sentenced to four years. Other defendants received prison terms of between one and three years, with suspended sentences.

Photo of defendants in Chinese kidney-for-iPhone scheme

Would you sell a kidney to these men? What if they threw in a cover and a set of headphones?

The leniency of the sentences is credited to the fact that the nine had already paid Wang more than 1.47m yuan ($263,019, £147,494) in damages for his injuries – enough to buy a platinum iPad.

Wang may have a more pressing need for the funds, however, as he has been suffering from severe renal failure since the operation.

Human organ trafficking is on the rise in China, where 1.5 million people are said to be in need of transplants, but only 10,000 such operations are performed each year.

By comparison, according to research firm Stenvall-Sköld & Company, Apple has sold more than 21 million iPhones and iPads in China. ®

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