BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - Police said Monday they believe an unlicensed doctor performed back operations on about 100 people in Romania before leaving the country as complaints began to be filed.
Romanian newspapers reported that the man in question _ a Frenchman named Francois Pinori _ also had performed surgery on more than 500 Italians before moving to Romania.
And he may be in Britain now, police said.
Pinori reportedly left Romania in 2006, shortly after the first complaints against him were filed. While police have yet to find him, they think they know where he is.
«We have information that Pinori is now in Britain,» said police spokesman Sergiu Rus.
Police are also looking for Pinori's patients so they can talk to them.
Rus said officials have determined that Pinori, who came to Romania in 2004 and worked as a doctor in a private clinic in Timisoara, presented phony papers when he obtained permission to practice.
Even so, after obtaining local approval, he should have also applied for a health ministry license, but the health ministry officials in Bucharest say he never did.
Health officials in Timisoara could not immediately be contacted.
The Romanian ministry of Health said it never licensed Pinori to practice medicine, as is legally required.
He worked in the clinic in western Romania for two years.
Patients reportedly paid ¤600-¤1,000 (US$900-US$1,550) to have Pinori perform operations such as the repair of a herniated disc.
Rus said some patients complained about their treatments and about the sums of money that they had to pay.
Romanian authorities began an investigation when they received the complaints, and asked Interpol for help.
Romanian newspapers wrote that Pinori had performed surgery on over 500 Italians before moving to Romania.
The chief of Interpol in Romania, Catalin Ionescu, said Pinori does not appear in the database of people for whom the institution is looking.