KIEV, June 11. /TASS/. A former employee of the Kiev-based State Scientific Control Institute of Biotechnology and Strains of Microorganisms (SSCIBSM) stole vials containing a dangerous animal virus, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office said citing investigators.
"A former employee of the institute, being in charge of maintaining <…> strains of viruses stored in the National Center of Strains of Microorganisms of Ukraine and having access to them, took possession of dangerous viral strains, which causes infectious diseases in animals and can spread quickly across large areas, regardless of state borders," the office said in a statement.
According to prosecutors, the woman stole vials containing the pathogen causing Virulent Newcastle disease. The disease affects numerous wild and domestic species of birds and is transmissible to humans.
"The suspect stored the above-mentioned strains of the virus in her house, with the purpose of reselling them," the statement says, adding that the woman stored the vials in her fridge.
She was charged with misappropriation of someone else’s property through abuse of official position. A measure of pretrial restraint for her is now being chosen.