India battling embryo smuggling and Commodification of womb: 1 held

March 19, 2019 | Brainwave Science


In a bizarre case of trafficking, a Malaysian national has been arrested after he was found in possession of a live human embryo. The Indian authorities are investigating a possible smuggling ring after discovering the live human embryo in a specialized suitcase containing a nitrogen-packed canister with him at Mumbai’s airport.India battling embryo smuggling

Arrested on 16th of March, he reportedly admitted that this was not the first time he had smuggled embryos into India, then led officials to a high-end IVF clinic called ‘Indo-Nippon IVF Clinic’ in the city.  He is said to have made 10 such trips to the clinic in the the last 18 months.India battling embryo smuggling
The clinic, however, has strongly denied its involvement and alleging a set-up.

Rebecca Gonsalves, representing the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), who are investigating this case, told the Mumbai’s high court on Monday that the arrested man said he was taking the embryo to the clinic when questioned. They suspect the embryos were meant to be transplanted into the womb of Indian surrogates, as the process could be much cheaper in India. A number of text messages backing up his claim were also found.

But Dr Goral Gandhi, described as one of the best Indian embryologists who runs the clinic has denied the allegations. Her lawyer said that “the petitioner does not import embryos as part of her business.” And went on to blame a conspiracy hatched by persons which may include competitors. The court ordered Dr Gandhi to present herself for an interview on Friday.

IVF has become increasingly popular in India recently. It is the process whereby an egg is fertilized in a laboratory and then implanted into the womb. Embryos can be frozen and stored for several years, with some people donating them to other would-be parents.India battling embryo smuggling

The import of embryos into India without a permit from the Indian Council of Medical Research  (ICMR), is illegal.India battling embryo smuggling


Not only is it illegal to import embryos into India without the express permission of the ICMR, but also the government does not support commercial surrogacy in the country. India legalized commercial surrogacy in 2001, and then banned it for foreigners in October 2015, citing possible exploitation of impoverished women who carry the children in their wombs. Hundreds of embryos belonging to overseas patients have been stuck in the country. With a ban on import and export, there is a big chance that people will try to do so illegally. Current methods of scanning and security checks at airport may allow these embryos to pass through, leaving the investigators and concerned Border Control agencies toothless in this battle against smuggling of embryos.India battling embryo smuggling

The approach towards this problem needs to be radical in nature. Besides, it must help to eliminate the root cause of the problem-the dishonest clinics and fertility centers which coordinate with their foreign counterparts and facilitate the illegal transfer. With the security measures not foolproof, the agencies have no other option but to overhaul their intelligence gathering mechanisms in order to nab these international embryo traffickers.

If modern science can enable doctors to fertilize a human egg with a sperm in a lab, can they also help forensic sciences with a much-needed tool which can help in solving and preventing crime?India battling embryo smuggling


Presenting, iCognative – a technology par excellence developed and designed by Brainwave Science from ground up.   Brainwave Science is a company based in Massachusetts, US, has introduced iCognative which is system-driven and has an advanced analysis engine which uses proprietary Mathematical Modeling algorithms and Artificial Intelligence. In addition to this, it has faster data collection and data analysis capabilities from its predecessors.

This tool quickly and non-invasively tests witnesses and arrested suspects for knowledge of details about a specific crime. There are certain details which the public is not aware of, even though the crime has been discussed in the media. These details can be confidential details such as the exact place from where the embryos were couriered, the various checkpoints that the courier passed through, phone and email records of the owners of suspected clinics, etc.

These details are used as inputs or stimuli, which comprise images, pictures, words or phrases which are displayed on a screen in succession, to a singular suspect, who wears a headset. Since these details are crime-specific in nature, the real perpetrator or witness will see certain stimuli and instantly recognize them as they were either at the crime scene, or they helped plan the crime and/or helped execute the crime.

iCognative helps detect concealed information in the brain of the suspects by measuring brain waves. Brainwave Science is an innovative company and has come up with the tool which is miles ahead of all other investigative and interrogative tools. iCognative is in a different league than Polygraph tests, DNA, or fingerprints. This is true for a multitude of reasons. iCognative is objective, in contrast with the rather subject Polygraph test. iCognative is 99+ per cent accurate. It is applicable to 85-90% of all civil and criminal cases. On the other hand, DNA and fingerprinting tests, although very popular, are not applicable, because the evidence is uncovered in merely 1-2% of the cases.

The range of application of this product is wide. It is a revolutionary tool which can help agencies which deal with national security, immigration crimes, counterterrorism, counterintelligenceborder security, human and drug trafficking, insurance fraud, financial fraud, cybercrime, law enforcement etc.

iCognative helps to conduct unbiased and non-invasive criminal investigations.

Most of the costs involved are investigation costs (~80%). The remaining are judicial and law-enforcement costs (~10% each). iCognative can help reduce investigation costs by 60-75%.

Officials will also agree that investigation and interrogation are the most time-consuming phases in any case. This tool marketed by Brainwave Science can be the way in which the Indian authorities like DRI can eradicate smuggling and illegal import-export of human embryos. This can really help reduce the ‘commodification of the womb

Law enforcement agencies have to try out the iCognative technology and see the difference it makes to the lives of the innocent and the guilty. The collaboration system already in place in Nigeria can be supplemented by the database and cloud technologies built into the iCognative system so as to share intelligence and latest developments nationwide, and if needed, abroad.

iCognative is on its way to global deployment and all sorts of investigative and interrogative agencies must reap the benefits of this indispensable technology, which decimates the time effort and expenses needed for most types of cases, with emphasis on being humane, being accurate and consistent.

Main Source: BBC