Thursday 23 September 2010

Human egg harvesting ring broken



Police in Attica on Saturday arrested five suspects, one of them a Greek doctor, in connection with a cross-border ring believed to have been exploiting immigrant women by harvesting eggs from their ovaries to give to Greek women interested in in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Two Bulgarian men, a Bulgarian woman and two Romanian men were detained as suspected members of the gang, according to Greek police who said they were assisted by their counterparts in Romania and Bulgaria.

The 47-year-old doctor was arrested at an Athens fertility clinic late on Friday as he was about to remove eggs from the ovaries of a 20-year-old Romanian woman, police said. Most of the women alleged to have been exploited by the gang had been brought to Greece, ostensibly for legitimate jobs, before being sold into prostitution and then being forced to agree to the removal of their eggs. One of the Romanian suspects, a 37-year-old woman, allegedly underwent the same procedure herself several times before bringing six of her compatriots into contact with the gang, police said.

The suspects face long jail terms if convicted.

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