An officer stood guard outside the home of Jean-Claude Mas while police searched the premises with Mas still inside. Apparently, French law requires that a policeman remain outside of any building being searched. Upon concluding the investigation the French implant inventor was arrested and taken into custody.
The 72 year old founder of PIP (Poly Implant Prothese) had been detained at his place of residency located in Six-Fours-les-Plages, according to police sources. France had previously banned PIP implants which were created using low-grade industrial silicone. This was prompted as a result of the fear that the implants could burst or leak, causing serious illness or even death to victims.
There have been as many as 400,000 women given these particular implants in over 65 different countries over the years. Mas’ attorney told the AFP news station that his client is not feeling well and is awaiting the arrival of his doctor.
It seems investigators have been looking into Mas since last year when he told police during an interview that the PIP factory workers had been under strict orders to hide the silicone should inspectors show up. One attorney who has been representing a woman who had been given the implants announced he was pleased that Mas had been arrested but only wished it had happened much sooner.
Mas has been placed in what is called “preventative detention.” In the hours to come it will become more evident as to what will happen, according to the interrogation and decision made by the magistrate. A spokesperson stated they are hopeful Mas will go under formal investigation to be certain he does not leave France until the investigation has been concluded.
Apparently, last year 72 year old Mas had told police that he had willingly deceived the European safety inspectors for a period of more than 13 years. However, he has continuously insisted that the implants pose absolutely no threat or harm to individuals and made a verbal attack on French authorities for being so bold as to offer payment for those wanting the implants removed. He claimed the attack was made due to the unnecessary risk of surgery the removal would put on women.
The risk of these implants has not been shown to heighten the occurrence of breast cancer but should one rupture, toxicity could occur. In one case recently a rare type of cancer, anaplastic large cell lymphoma was reported. Of course more studies will have to be done before that can be definitively blamed on the implants.
While many European countries are advising all women who have had the implants inserted have them removed, other countries are only suggesting this if there is a specific reason. The UK for example is only recommending that women who are experience pain, soreness or tenderness have them removed; siting the risk of a surgical procedure outweighs the risk of perfectly good and intact implants.
The company officially closed back in march 2010 but investigators believe women have been having them implanted since. The allegation is that Mas did not cease operations as ordered at the time the ruling to do so was made.