So, did the NIH ask him to steal and smuggle the vials? - Ed.
OTTAWA (AFP) — A Canadian scientist has been arrested for smuggling 22 vials stolen from Canada's National Microbiology Lab, used in Ebola and HIV research, into the United States, Canadian and US officials said Wednesday.
Konan Michel Yao, 42, "was taken into custody" while crossing the border from Manitoba province into the western US state of North Dakota on May 5, said a spokeswoman for the Public Health Agency of Canada, which operates the lab.
According to US prosecutor Lynn Jordheim, Yao was detained for carrying unidentified biological materials in vials wrapped in aluminium foil inside a glove and packaged in a plastic bag, along with electrical wires, in the trunk of his car.
Yao said in an affidavit he stole the vials, described as research vectors, from the Winnipeg lab on his last day of work there on January 21.
He told US border guards he was taking them to his new job with the National Institutes of Health at the Biodefense Research Laboratory in Bethesda, Maryland.