The scandal of the faulty, badly made breast implants from French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) continues with the arrest of Jean-Claude Mas, 72, who according to police has been held at his home in Six-Fours-les-Plages in the South of France.
Up to 400,000 thousand women are believed to have been given the implants and the problem extends across some 65 countries, with England and France amongst others assuring those involved that the public health system will cover the cost of removing or replacing the implants.
The French banned the implants in 2010, with concerns of possible ruptures and leaks, after discovering the manufacturer had not been using the approved material.
Mr. Mas stayed in his home, while police made a search of the premises, and he was then taken to the national police station in Marseilles. His lawyer made a statement to the AFP news agency:
"He is not well, he is tired and he is waiting
for his doctor."
Nonetheless, Mr. Mas will be surely made to answer for his unscrupulous business practices, especially considering that he admitted to police that he told employees at his factory to hide the unauthorized silicon from inspectors when they came to the facility.
Moreover he admitted during another interview that his company PIP had been fooling EU inspectors for some 13 years.
He countered accusations against him, by claiming that the material was perfectly safe and blamed the authorities for putting women through the risk of unnecessary surgeries to replace perfectly functional implants, albeit ones with unapproved material inside them.
He also stated that he had nothing to say to the victims, and thought they were only making complaints for financially motivated reasons. The French Magistrate is reviewing the contents of the interview with Mr. Mas, and so far some 30,000 women in France have been advised to replace their implants.
Around the globe, health officials have been advising women to seek replacements. The German, Czech and Venezuelan authorities advised women to remove their implants, while the British who have some 40,000 affected women, seem to take Mr. Mas's point of view, stating there was nothing to be concerned about, unless there were problems with pain or tenderness. Those fitted with the implants on the British NHS will be offered replacements, and those patients who originally had surgery in private practice will be offered removals on the NHS if theit private practitioners refuse to remove them.
Two private companies, Transform and The Hospital Group in the UK stated that they will remove the implants free of charge, but patients will be required to pay around £1,500 to £2,500 for replacements.
Written by Rupert Shepherd