Malaysian man busted trying to smuggle HUMAN EMBRYO into India
Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials made the arrest last Friday after finding the embryo in a specialized nitrogen-packed canister concealed in Partheban Durai’s luggage.
Durai apparently admitted that this was not the first time he had brought this kind of cargo through customs (in fact, it was his “seventh or eighth”), and even pointed them toward the high-end in-vitro fertilization clinic that allegedly put him up to the gruesome task.
The clinic in question, Indo Nippon IVF in Mumbai, vehemently denies any connection to the operation, but authorities are moving forward with a full investigation.
Prosecutors allege that they have incriminating text messages which prove that the clinic was Durai’s destination.
Embryologist and co-founder of the clinic Dr Goral Gandhi was called to defend herself in court over the incident. According to the Indian Express, her lawyer blamed “a conspiracy hatched by persons which may include competitors.”
The officials believe the embryos were being smuggled in, fertilized in a lab and then implanted into Indian women who act as surrogates.
This kind of surrogacy is illegal in Malaysia under Islamic law, which is why desperate families may be turning to exporting embryos from abroad.Also on rt.com Gene-edited Chinese CRISPR babies may have mental ‘superpowers’, researchers warn
While embryos can be legally imported for research purposes, doing so requires a permit from the Indian Council of Medical Research.
The DRI said this was the first ever case they had investigated involving the smuggling of a live human embryo.
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