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2 nabbed in trafficking of Chinese inmates' organs

In an undercover operation that officials say could confirm suspicions about human rights abuses in China's prisons, federal authorities in New York have arrested two men, including one who identified himself as a former Chinese prosecutor, on charges of conspiring to arrange transplants of kidneys and other organs taken from the bodies of executed Chinese inmates.

Federal officials said Monday that the case could provide the first evidence documented by the American government of what Chinese dissidents have long claimed was a thriving trade stemming from the harsh treatment of prisoners there.The two men, Cheng Yong Wang, who described himself as a former prosecutor in Hainan Province, China, and Xingqi Fu, a Chinese citizen who lives in Flushing, N.Y., were arrested last Friday after an FBI agent posing as a medical executive met with them in New York.

During the meeting, Wang offered to sell kidneys from prisoners who had been executed in China and arrange for American patients to have the transplant operations in China, according to a federal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Wang told the undercover agent that working with Fu he could also supply eye corneas, at $5,000 a pair, to doctors who wanted to transplant them in the United States and that he could obtain pancreases, livers, lungs and skin, the complaint said.

The FBI mounted the sting operation shortly after receiving a tip from a well-known human rights activist, Harry Wu, who said in an interview that he secretly videotaped a meeting with Wang on Feb. 13 in which Wang made a similar offer.

The State Department said in a recent report that there had been credible accusations from human-rights groups and former Chinese inmates that the organs of some executed prisoners had been removed and sold.