Following a court decision yesterday, two representatives from Med New Life clinic will be held for 29 days after investigations into the illegal trade in human egg cells. Yesterday (Wednesday 20 ), a Bucharest Court upheld a request from Romania’s organized crime unit DIICOT to hold the two suspects for 29 days.
The two representatives of Med New Life clinic were taken into custody by DIICOT earlier in the week on suspicion of trafficking human egg cells, for in vitro fertilization. Prosecutors called tens of people at hearings, including nurses and doctors, and took the two into custody for 24 hours, according to Romanian media, quoting judicial sources.
The clinic’s representatives were allegedly approaching young women, usually students coming from outside Bucharest, paying RON 600 to RON 800 (EUR 133 to EUR 177) for their egg cells, and then selling them for EUR 3,000 to EUR 4,000 to couples who required in-vitro fertilization.
The Police and prosecutors from DIICOT performed six searches in Bucharest, including of several Israeli citizens involved in assisted reproduction.
The crime group was operating in Romania and Israel and included doctors, nurses, and medical unit manages, Romanian and Israeli citizens. Most of the beneficiary couples are from Israel, and came regularly to Romania for the artificial insemination, according to the Police. The investigation revealed that the clinic’s personnel harvested and sold egg cells under conditions forbidden by medical ethics, and often from the same person whose egg cells were sold to several couples who were trying to have babies.
A similar case was uncovered in 2009 at the Sabyc clinic. In November 2012, five people involved in that case were sentenced to five years in prison by the Bucharest Court. Israeli couples who had used Sabyc’s services said it was illegal in Israel and that they were paying the clinic director Harry Mironescu EUR 3,500 for treatment.