November 26, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Stem cell clinic busted: police make arrests in Indonesia

Police in Indonesia have busted a stem cell clinic. They shut down an allegedly illegal stem cell clinic and made arrests of those working there including potentially the doctor. The clinic was located in Kemang, South Jakarta, but the clinic is not named and the personnel are listed by their initials including a Doctor OH.

Police in Indonesia seal off an illegal stem cell clinic
Police in Indonesia reportedly seal off an illegal stem cell clinic. Uncredited photo.

Four news reports in Indonesian (here, here, here, and here) describe the dramatic events. The first one I listed included an uncredited photo that I’ve included in this post. Now a newer piece in English has appeared calling the action a “bust”.

How did I even find out about this? No, I don’t speak Indonesian. I wish I did!

I noticed this weekend that traffic on The Niche’s Indonesian language page Apakah itu stem cell (sel punca)? shot through the roof so I quickly searched the web for news on “sel punca” or “stem cell” in Indonesian and out popped many news articles. This appears to be a prominent national news story in Indonesia.

Here are some key quotes from the news articles I found:

” Investigators from the State Security Sub Directorate at the Directorate of General Criminal Investigation (Ditreskrimum) of the Jakarta Metropolitan Police have sealed a clinic located at Ruko Bellepoint, Jalan Kemang Selatan VIII, South Jakarta, for illegally carrying out the practice of stem cell injection.”

“Metro Jaya Regional Police investigators secured several people in the operation and named three suspects, namely YW (46) as the clinical manager, LJ (47) as the marketing manager and Dr. OH as the general practitioner as well as the clinic owner in charge of injecting patients.”

“In the arrest operation, officers confiscated a number of items of evidence such as unlicensed Japanese K product stem cells, IV lines, syringes, antiseptic devices and patient registration.”

As a stem cell researcher, I’m glad to see this action.

In a way it’s puzzling that here in the U.S. state and local law enforcement hasn’t done more about stem cell clinics since there are at least a few that are clearly violating the law in extremely risky ways in a number of states. Many others are likely violating the law in at least moderately risky ways.

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