The Sayeda Zeinab prosecutor started investigating two people who are accused of selling the blood of homeless Cairo children to a hospital in Gharbiya Governorate. The two defendants allegedly recruited children between 10 and 18 years old from squares and under bridges and gave them LE10 and a meal in return for their blood.
Prosecutor Ahmed al-Abraq has ordered the defendants to be held for four days pending investigation and accused them of trafficking human beings, practicing a job without a license, and polluting the environment. The prosecutor ordered the arrest of the hospital official who dealt with them.
Preliminary investigations suggest that the defendants took the children to an apartment in Munira in downtown Cairo and drew their blood. They allegedly convinced the children that the apartment was a blood testing lab, then sold their blood to the hospital for LE85 per bag.
Upon searching the apartment, investigators found six bags of blood ready for sale, 30 empty bags, 648 bag clips, five bottles of chemicals used to determine blood type, medical cotton, gauze, adhesives, syringes and some medicine.
LE8,000 in cash was also found in the apartment, as well as illegal narcotic drugs, including tramadol, and ledger recording the names and ages of the children whose blood had been drawn. There were around 40 names on the list.
Abraq summoned the children to appear for questioning and ordered drug tests on the six bags of blood.
He collected statements from a number of eyewitnesses and neighbors who claimed that a large number of children of different ages frequented the apartment and were inside for between an hour and an hour and a half.
The defendants denied the accusations.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm