Investigators open second criminal case following dysentery outbreak at schools catered by Prigozhin-linked business
Russia’s Federal Investigative Committee has opened a second criminal case in response to an outbreak of dysentery in Moscow caused by contaminated food supplied to local schools, according to the news agency Interfax. A source says the new investigation was launched after 67 teachers and students at seven different schools in the city’s Eastern Administrative Okrug suddenly fell ill. The victims consumed meals prepared from food supplied by the “Vito-1” company. An inspection reportedly found that the business violates multiple sanitary regulations.
Previously, Anti-Corruption Foundation activist Lyubov Sobol reported that investigators opened a criminal case against Vito-1 after a mass outbreak of dysentery at kindergartens in Moscow’s South-Eastern Administrative Okrug. The kindergartens received their food from the Concord company, which is owned by catering magnate Evgeny Prigozhin, who is notorious for his close ties to Vladimir Putin and billions of dollars in state procurement deals. Journalists have also linked Vito-1 to Prigozhin.
The outbreak of dysentery occurred in December 2018 at schools and kindergartens throughout Moscow. Concord denies any wrongdoing, but Prigozhin has nevertheless stated his readiness to offer financial assistance to the victims.