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Suspects caught for illegal online human egg sales

Arrest warrants sought for 2 traders


The police on Tuesday sought arrest warrants for two people suspected of brokering illegal sales of human eggs and booked 13 ovum donors without detention.

The ovum brokers identified only by their last names Koo and Chung ran a website where people shared information on fertility and received applications for ovum transplants or donations for a year until last September. Koo and Chung took between 5 and 10 million won per ovum from their clients and gave between 1 and 6 million won per ovum to the donors, collecting some 30 million won in total.

The two brokers provided their clients with a list of the donors’ personal information such as the schools they attended, their age, height, physique and the different prices for each donor’s eggs.

“Housewives, college students, English teachers and sales promoters in urgent need of money donated their eggs,” a Seoul district police officer said.

“Hospitals are required to report ovum transplant operations to the Health Ministry as they can be dangerous, but some of the hospitals did not even leave proper medical records.”

The law prohibits a woman from having her ova extracted more than three times in her life or more than once in six months. But one of the booked donors was found to have had her eggs extracted three times in eight months to sell them, according to the police.

To hide their identities, the donors presented blurry photocopies of other people’s identification cards to the hospital and some even suffered memory failure due to frequent operations.

The police are questioning a gynecologist surnamed Nam who allegedly violated medical law by extracting and implanting ova without properly identifying the donors.

By Kim So-hyun (sophie@heraldcorp.com)
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