UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Pakistani police have arrested at least four people accused of stealing spinal fluid and selling it on the black market.

The suspects allegedly used syringes to extract spinal fluid from multiple women under the guise of medical check-ups they claimed were necessary to qualify for a dowry fund in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

A police investigator told AFP news agency, “They confessed to extracting the spinal cord fluid from at least 10 women in the area and selling it to a cleaner at a local government hospital.”

Geo News reports doctors have also discovered syringe marks near the spines of at least 16 additional women, who will be tested to determine whether they too had spinal fluid taken.

Police busted the so-called gang Feb. 12 after the father of a 17-year-old victim alerted authorities.

He said the gang members had posed as hospital employees.

An investigation is underway.