Indian authorities have apprehended a Malaysian national following a luggage search that uncovered a suspicious canister. Inside was a live human embryo, and the Malaysian mule says that it was destined for a high-end Mumbai fertility clinic.
Authorities made the bust on March 16, and the man they are holding has already admitted it was not the first time that he smuggled such illicit goods into the country.
While he led officers to the clinic that he is alleging he supplied embryos to, lawyers that represent Dr. Goral Gandhi, the director of the accused medical center, are denying the claims, saying they have been set up by nefarious forces (competitors, natch).
Times of India has reportedly seen several messages between the man and the clinic, and have said that the content of the texts backs up his claims.
Dr. Gandhi has been asked to present herself for a court-ordered interview Friday.
While IVF, the process of fertilizing an egg in a lab to implant in a woman’s uterus, has become increasingly popular in India. Embryos, which are already fertilized eggs, can be frozen for years, with some individuals donating them to others who cannot have children.
At present, it is illegal to import embryos into India without clearance and a permit from the Indian Council of Medical Research.
This article, Malaysian man detained at Mumbai airport smuggling live human embryo, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!