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Five Charged in China After Boy Sells Kidney for iPhone, iPad

ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images(CHANGSHA, China) -- What would you give up to have the latest smartphone or best tablet device?  The most popular of these devices often cost the figurative arm-and-a-leg, but would they be worth giving up a real kidney? Chinese authorities arrested five people after a teenager admitted he sold his kidney to the group so that he could purchase Apple's iPhone and iPad.

The surgeon, who removed the 17-year-old teen's kidney, and four others were paid a total of around $35,000 for the transplant, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.  The boy, identified only by his last name, Wang, reportedly only received $3,000 in exchange for his kidney.

When Wang's mother questioned her son about how he got money for such expensive gadgets, he confessed that he had sold his kidney to the group after being recruited through an online chatroom for illegal trade, according to BBC News.  Prosecutors say the boy now suffers from renal failure, Xinhua reports.

With the popular gadgets in high demand and shortages of donors causing even higher demand for organs, the black market for human organs has thrived -- despite the official banning of organ trafficking several years ago.

All five people responsible for the removal and sale of Wang's kidney were charged with causing intentional injury and illegal organ trading.  Officials are still investigating others who may have been involved in the operation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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