The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has charged Dr. Klaus Nielsen and Ms. Wei Ling Yu, both former researchers with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), with Breach of Trust by a Public Officer. These charges stem from a criminal investigation called Project SENTIMENTAL, which was completed with the assistance of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

The matter was originally reported to the RCMP by the CFIA in March 2011. The investigation focused on Dr. Nielsen and Ms. Yu’s unlawful efforts to commercialize intellectual property belonging to the CFIA and a private commercial partner.

On October 24, 2012, the RCMP with the assistance of the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) first responders intercepted Dr. Nielsen as he was heading to the Ottawa airport.  The RCMP’s Clandestine Laboratory Response Team, accompanied by the Ottawa Fire Services Hazardous Materials Response Team, arrested and searched Dr. Nielsen.  In his possession, Dr. Nielsenhad 17 vials of pathogens he was attempting to export in an unsafe manner. These vials were analyzed by the PHAC and found to contain live brucella bacteria that can infect livestock and humans.   Dr. Nielsen was arrested for Breach of Trust by a Public Officer and the unsafe transportation of a human pathogen.

This complex investigation drew on resources from a variety of federal departments, law enforcement agencies and first responders. The RCMP, in collaboration with their partners, were able to quickly and efficiently mobilize and respond to this threat which helped minimize the public’s risk of exposure to these contagious substances.

Dr. Nielsen faces one charge under the Criminal Code and several under the Export and Import Permits Act, the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act. His next court appearance is scheduled on April 17, 2013 in Ottawa.

A Canada wide warrant has been issued for Ms. Yu.

SOURCE: Royal Canadian Mounted Police

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