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Arrest at Bucharest clinic Photo: AFP
Arrest at Bucharest clinic Photo: AFP
 
 

Romania: Detained Israelis released to hotel

Prof. Raphael Ron-El, laboratory technician Dafna Komarovsky arrested on suspicion of human egg trafficking, sent back to their Bucharest hotel after questioning. Stay of exit order issued against them

Neri Brenner
Published: 02.20.13, 15:58 / Israel News

Two Israelis who were arrested Tuesday in Romania have been released to their hotel in Bucharest, Romania early Wednesday.

 

The two got their passports back, but the stay of exit order issued against them still stands.

 

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The two, Prof. Raphael Ron-El who runs the In Vitro Fertilization Clinic at Israel's Assaf Harofeh Medical Center and laboratory technician Dafna Komarovsky, were detained during a raid Tuesday on a fertility clinic in Bucharest for alleged involvement in the sale of local women’s eggs to o Israeli couples.

 

In addition, some 30 people – both Romanian and Israeli – were questioned. It is believed there was cooperation between representatives of private clinics in Bucharest, and fertility experts from Israel, breaking the country’s organ transplantation law.

 

The medical center released a statement saying Professor Ron-El "has been working with this Bucharest clinic for 15 years, backed by the approval of the Israeli Health Ministry and with a Romanian work license. Throughout this period, his actions followed Israeli and Romanian law.

 

"We are convinced that nothing out of line will be found in the activities of Professor Ron-El, or Ms. Komarovsky," the hospital said.

 

Local police searched the clinic, suspecting that Israeli experts were making substantial earnings from the illegal business run at the location. Romanian police said that the clinic recruited women and girls who agreed to allow their eggs to be removed and used in fertility treatments.

 

In addition to searching the clinic, local authorities searched the homes of six people under investigation. According to the authorities, experts in the clinic removed the eggs of Romanian women between the ages of 18 – 30, some students, paying them between 600-800 euros ($800-1,066).

 

Most of the people who benefited from the service were Israeli women who visited Romania for artificial insemination, and the suspects made "considerable financial gains" through this illegal human egg trafficking, police said in a statement. According to police, they sold the eggs for a price of 3,000-4,000 euros ($4,000-5,330).

 

 

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