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PIP implant boss arrested

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The founder of the company at the centre of the PIP implant scandal has been arrested in the south of France.

Jean-Claude Mas, head of Poly Implant Prothese, was taken into custody earlier today (26 January) and may face fraud charges.

His company was closed down in March 2010, after it emerged that the implants had been made with industrial grade gel used to stuff mattresses.

Around 450,000 women across the world have used PIP implants, including 45,000 in the UK. At the end of last year, the French government advised affected women to get the implants removed amid fears they could rupture.

In the UK, a focus group chaired by the NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, said that it could find no evidence that the implants were dangerous or more likely to rupture; but its findings were not conclusive, as the clinics affected did not have thorough enough data to work from.

The government has offered free removal - but not replacement - of the implants on the NHS, but has vowed to recoup the money from the clinics who provided the implants.

A lawyer for Mas said he would not speak publically on the case, but in previous interviews with French media, the former PIP boss has remained defiant, admitting he used the implants to cut costs and claimed that "a chemical product can be used to make lots of things."

PIP used to be one of the world's leading implant companies, exporting to more than 60 countries.

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