Breast implant bosses arrested

PIP boss Jean-Claude Mas - photo from Interpol

Gendarmes raid homes of PIP group in homicide investigation after cancer woman's death

POLICE have arrested Jean-Claude Mas, the owner of breast implant manufacturer PIP, for questioning on charges of homicide and involuntary injury.

PIP director Claude Couty was also arrested early this morning and the homes of the two men were being searched by police.

Prosecutors in Marseille opened an investigation into the now-bankrupt company after a complaint from the mother of a woman with PIP implants who died of cancer in the Gers.

The investigation was later extended to include 2,720 other people who lodged complaints against PIP.

Up to 500,000 women worldwide are thought to have had breast implants using PIP products and some experts have said up to one in 10 could have ruptured.

French health authorities have recommended that women have the implants removed.

Last October PIP founder Mas acknowledged to gendarmes that his company had used a non-medical grade silicone gel for the implants. However, he denied it was dangerous and said it was of "better quality".

So far 20 people with PIP implants have been diagnosed with cancer in France, including 16 with breast cancer. However, doctors say no definitive "causal" link has been established with the PIP gel.

Photo: Interpol

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