ST. PETERSBURG, August 26 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – Russia’s authorities have seized hair of 76 female students Norwegian scientist Yngvar Thomassen attempted to transport abroad for carrying out an analysis thereof in Scotland, the United press service of St. Petersburg courts informs RAPSI.

The seizure was ruled by the Moscovsky District Court of St. Petersburg saying Thomassen failed to declare the hair he transported in violation of customs regulations requiring declaration of any goods not being personal items.

The Norwegian scientist was not present at the hearings; his representative stated that students’ hair was collected to being analyzed in Scotland in the framework of a Russian megaproject. The respective megagrant amounting to 90 million rubles (about $1.2 million at the current exchange rate) was issued by the Government of the Russian Federation for three years with the aim to implement a joint project in the sphere of Arctic biomonitoring run by the Northern Arctic Federal University and North-Western State Medical University. The project has been headed by Thomassen, who directs research in the department of chemical and biological work at Statens arbeidsmiljøinstitutt, Oslo.

The general partner of the project, North-West Scientific Center of Hygiene and Public Health, a subordinate structure of Russia’s consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, is checking why it was necessary to transport the hair abroad for the analysis, as it was envisaged to create a respective laboratory in Russia.