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Police say they have broken up a network involved in the illegal harvest and sale of human eggs, mainly to couples from Israel.
Two medical professionals, including a doctor of Israeli origin, were taken into custody on Wednesday for alleged involvement in trafficking in human egg cells for in vitro fertilization.
Investigators said the employees of a clinic in Bucharest harvested the eggs from young women, usually students, paying them up to 800 lei (around 175 euro) and then selling the egg cells for up to 4,000 euro to couples who required in vitro fertilization.
Most of the beneficiary couples were from Israel, and they came to Romania for artificial insemination, according to media reports.
The clinic’s personnel allegedly harvested and sold egg cells illegally, and often from the same person, whose egg cells were sold to several couples who were trying to have babies.
Police entered the Med New Life clinic in the capital on Tuesday and afterwards summoned dozens of people to hearings, mainly nurses and doctors.
Police said they believed that a network of 11 suspects was involved in the illegal trafficking of human eggs.
This is not first such case in Romania, where the sale of human eggs for in vitro fertilization is illegal. In 2009, a similar case was uncovered at another clinic in Bucharest.
In November 2012, five people involved in that case were sentenced to five years in prison by a Bucharest Court.
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