China tells Vatican of crackdown on underground transplants

ROME (AP) — Chinese health authorities have told a Vatican trafficking conference that Beijing's efforts to crack down on illegal "underground" organ transplants have resulted in 220 arrests and 100 victims being rescued over the past 10 years.

Dr. Haibo Wang, deputy chief of China's organ donation and transplant foundation, provided the data as part of China's years-long effort to convince the international medical community that it no longer harvests organs from executed prisoners.

At a news conference Wednesday, Wang reaffirmed that the organ harvesting practice officially stopped in 2015 and that China is now working to prevent illegal transplant activity, which he said isn't conducted in hospitals but in remote civilian, non-medical facilities.

He said: "This kind of underground activity — they're getting smarter, so it's difficult to identify."