Israelis Nathan Levitt (L) and Genya Ziskind have been arrested in Romania on suspicion of trafficking in human eggs.
The two Israeli gynecologists are accused of “human egg-trafficking, involvement in a criminal group, and practicing medicine without a permit,” the chief prosecutor of Romania’s Organized Crime Department, Codrut Olaru, told AFP on Tuesday.
He said that after questioning the suspects for several hours on Tuesday, the prosecution decided to place them in detention for 24 hours.
The two gynecologists, who were banned from leaving the country last week, “did not have the required authorization to practice in Romania,” he added.
The Israeli consul general to Bucharest, Lili Ben-Harush, identified the detained Israelis as Professor Nathan Levitt and Dr. Genya Ziskind.
Last week about 30 Israelis were arrested in a Romanian fertility clinic for similar offences.
The clinic is owned by Israeli father and son Harry and Yair Miron, who remain in detention on the orders of Romania’s prosecutors.
The two ran the Sabyc clinic in Bucharest, which specializes in in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and plastic surgery.
They are suspected of recruiting Romanian women aged between 18 and 30 and paying them 800 to 1,000 leis ($271 to $338) for their eggs, and selling the eggs for 8,000 to 10,000 euros ($11,339-$14,174) to women in need of artificial fertilization, reported the Romanian daily Gardianul.
According to the newspaper, the clinic’s annual earnings are around 20 million euros ($28.4 million).
Most of the clients came from Israel, Italy, and Britain.