Swedish scientist falls victim to motorway robbery in Catalonia

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highway robbery
ASSSA

In an unfortunate yet familiar incident on Spanish motorways, a foreign scientist became the latest victim of a roadside robbery. The theft involved a highly unusual and valuable haul.

Last week, on the AP-7 motorway near the town of Cabanes (Castellón), Swedish scientist Mehrdad Rafat was robbed of ten cornea prototypes designed for transplants. According to the Fundació Punt de Vista, a Spanish foundation for the visually impaired, the stolen items were intended for research and valued at approximately €15,000. Rafat was en route to a conference in Valencia when the thieves punctured one of his car tyres at a petrol station in Castellón and then followed him from a distance. When Rafat pulled over to seek help, the perpetrators posed as helpful passersby before robbing him of his personal belongings and research equipment.

A prominent scientist

Dr. Mehrdad Rafat, a leading Swedish scientist and researcher, was visiting Spain at the invitation of various Spanish scientific institutions. He was heading to the Neuro-Ophthalmology Conference at the College of Physicians of Valencia when he fell prey to the thieves. Dr. Rafat is internationally renowned in the fields of biomedical technology and ophthalmology. His groundbreaking work with collagen corneas is patented and has been recognised by regulatory bodies such as the European Medicines Agency for use in human patients.

Restoring vision

The cornea prototypes developed by Dr. Rafat have the potential to restore vision for patients in developing countries, where access to medical care is often limited. This technology offers hope for individuals suffering from blindness due to corneal issues. The Fundació Punt de Vista underscores the importance of this technology and calls for a swift investigation into the robbery. They hope that the authorities will quickly recover the stolen prototypes so that Dr. Rafat can continue his vital work.

Also see: Carpark robberies in Barcelona

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