A Cairo criminal court sentenced on Thursday 41 defendants to prison terms of three to 15 years for their involvement in an organ trafficking ring.
The court sentenced six defendants to 15 years, 11 defendants to seven years, 20 defendants to three years, and acquitted three defendants.
The court also fined the defendants between EGP 200,000 and EGP 500,000.
The network included university professors, doctors, nurses, medical centre owners and brokers in organ trafficking.
Investigations revealed that between January 2011 and December 2016, the defendants exploited poor Egyptians in need of money, removing their organs, mainly kidneys, and transplanting them into foreign recipients.
The prosecution charged the defendants with profiteering, bribery, money laundering, dereliction of duty and causing permanent disabilities.
The group's illegal operations resulted in the death of one of the victims and permanent disabilities in others, according to investigations.
The defendants accused of running the illegal network – who comprised Egyptians and foreigners – were arrested in December 2016.
According to a law passed in 2017, those who perform an organ transplant by deception or force face life in prison and fines of between EGP 1 million ($56,000) and EGP 2 million ($112,000), and can face the death penalty if their operations result in a victim's death.