Five people have been charged in southern China with illegal use of a kidney after a teenage fanboi in the country sold one of his organs to buy a shiny new iPhone and iPad.
Xinhua news agency reported that the five include Song Zhongyu, a surgeon from a provincial hospital in Yunnan province, Su Kaizong, who works in a hospital urology department and ringleader He Wei, who organised the operation to pay off his gambling debts.
The 17-year-old from Anhui province surnamed Wang, who agreed to the illegal transplant last April, is now suffering from renal failure, a condition which could ultimately prove fatal.
In total, the project generated 220,000 yuan (£21,971) of which Wang was given 22,000 yuan (£2,197) and the rest split between the five who have been charged with intentional injury.
Their cover was blown after Wang confessed to his mother how he’d managed to afford a new iPhone and iPad.
The illegal trade in organs is big business in China, where demand way outstrips supply. According to Xinhua, Ministry of Health stats show that out of around 1.5m million requests for new organs per year only 10,000 transplants are performed legally.
Earlier this year, for example, a man in Guangdong province reportedly woke up to find his left kidney gone and 20,000 yuan in his pocket
Trading in bodily parts for Apple goods also happens disturbingly frequently in China, with desperate fanbois using internet forums in order to find willing intermediaries to help them.
Last June, for example, teenage fondleslab fan Xiao Zheng sold a kidney to pay for an iPad 2.
Chinese Apple fanbois aren't just prepared to part with an organ or two to get their hands on a shiny new phone or tablet, though. A teenage girl reportedly offered her virginity in return for an iPhone 4 last year. ®