05:57 GMT15 July 2020
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    Authorities suspect the man to be part of an international racket wherein couples from abroad, especially countries like Malaysia where surrogacy is not allowed, opt for Indian fertility clinics that offer illegal surrogacy of smuggled embryos.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): A Malaysian national was arrested at Mumbai Airport after he was caught with a special nitrogen-packed container with a live human embryo, according to media reports.

    Indian authorities suspect that the Malaysian national, Partiban Durai, who has made 10 trips to the country, in the past year and a half, could be part of an international embryo smuggling racket involving India's fertility clinics that cater to foreigners seeking surrogacy.

    READ MORE: Indian Doctors Conduct Country's First-Ever Uterus Transplantation

    According to Mumbai police, the Malaysian national was supposed to deliver the live human embryo to the Indo-Nippon clinic run by one Goral Gandhi. Goral's has however denied the allegations.  

    ​"Goral is innocent. The goods recovered from her clinic were not meant for her. Further, during the search, the CCTV cameras at the clinic were switched off and the DVR has been taken away", Goral Gandhi's lawyer Sujay Kantawala told the media.

    The India Directorate of Revenue Intelligence suspects that the Malaysian national is a part of international embryo smuggling and illegal surrogacy racket that has links to Indian IVF clinics.

    READ MORE: US Couple Caught in Legal Battle With India Over Embryos

    As Malaysia does not permit surrogacy under Islamic law, it is likely that Malaysian couples may be exporting their embryos for illegal surrogacy in India. 

    IVF (In-Vitro Fertilisation) has become increasingly popular in India. It involves fertilisation of human sperm and ova outside the female body in a controlled environment. Embryos can be frozen and stored and people can donate them to other couples ready for childbearing.

    It is illegal to import embryos into India without a permit from the Indian Council of Medical Research. Indian law allows surrogacy only for couples that cannot have children.


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    surrogate, embryo, illegal, arrest, India, Mumbai, Malaysia
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