Nine people are being tried in China's Hunan province after allegedly helping a 17-year-old boy sell one of his kidneys in order to buy an iPad and an iPhone, according to a report from domestic news agency Xinhua. The defendants include a surgeon and five other medical staff from a provincial hospital, while the mastermind of the operation appears to be a man named He Wei, described by Xinhua as "penniless and frustrated over gambling debts."
He Wei allegedly asked another defendant, Yin Shen, to trawl chat rooms searching for potential donors. After luring in the high school student, known as Wang, and contracting out the surgery, they paid him just 22,000 yuan ($3,458), while the surgeon received 56,360 yuan ($8,860). That's about eight-months worth of wages for the average Chinese factory worker responsible for the assembly of consumer electronics.
Wang suffered renal failure following the operation, which only came to light when his mother questioned his ability to afford the brand new Apple products. At a hearing on Thursday, prosecutors emphasized that the nine conspirators should be held criminally liable for "intentional injury," and requested compensation of 2.2 million yuan ($356,849).