Jean-Claude Mas, founder of the now-defunct French company accused of using industrial-grade silicone in tens of thousands of breast implants, was arrested early this morning at a home in southeast France. Mas was detained as part of a French investigation into manslaughter and involuntary injuries. Interpol had also issued a warrant for Mas, but the AP notes that is related to a drunk driving charge in Costa Rica. The Daily Mail adds that another former Poly Implant Prothese director was arrested at the same time in a nearby location.
As many as 3,000 alleged victims have complained about their implants, and one woman filed a lawsuit after her daughter died of cancer after receiving one of the implants. The implants, which are no longer available in several countries, are feared to rupture more easily. Some governments have urged women to remove the suspect implants, but Britain—where an estimated 50,000 women have the implants—says there is no urgent need for all of them to be removed. Mas and a number of other PIP managers also face charges of fraud and deceptive business practices. (Read more Poly Implant Protheses stories.)