Thursday, May 14, 2009

Canadian Man Caught At U.S. Border Carrying Stolen Vials Of Ebola Virus (Video)

A former researcher at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg is facing charges in the United States after allegedly trying to smuggle genetic material from the Ebola virus across the Manitoba-North Dakota border.

If security is an issue at this lab, I have to wonder what else is missing? Is this another example of the dangers of Socialized Medicine?

CBC News reports:

U.S. authorities allege Konan Michel Yao had 22 vials of the substance in the trunk of his car when he tried to cross the border on May 5. He is charged with smuggling merchandise, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 US.

U.S. customs officers allegedly found the vials wrapped in aluminum foil inside a glove and packaged in a plastic bag, along with electrical wires.

In his affidavit, the 42-year-old researcher said he was hired by the Public Health Agency of Canada to work as a PhD fellow at the Winnipeg facility. Yao told officers he was working on a vaccine for the Ebola virus and HIV.

On Jan. 21, his last day at the lab, he said he stole 22 vials, which he described as research vectors, according to the affidavit.

Yao told officers he was taking the vials to his new job with the National Institutes of Health at the Biodefense Research Laboratory in Bethesda, Md., because he didn't want to start from scratch in his research.

Dr. Frank Plummer, the scientific director of the Winnipeg lab, said the genetic material taken was not the full Ebola virus and does not pose a risk to the public.

Plummer said theft has never happened at the lab before. Researchers are reminded they cannot take any lab property without permission, and they sign documents asserting that they know the rules, he said.

The lab is now reviewing its biosecurity protocol.

Stumble Upon Toolbar submit to reddit

No comments:

Post a Comment