Moldova detains six uranium smugglers

Posted on Juni 30, 2011 von

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Moldova detains six uranium smugglers
Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:27AM

A button of bomb-grade Uranium-235 (file photo)
Moldovan police have arrested six people in connection with smuggling radioactive materials, seizing some weapon-grade uranium that was reportedly up for sale.

Interior Ministry official Vitalie Briceag announced on Wednesday that the six uranium traffickers were arrested in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau on Monday as they were trying to sell Uranium-235 to a North African customer for USD 28.85 million. The bomb-grade uranium had been imported from Russia, the Associated Press reported.

Four of the detainees are reportedly Moldovan citizens, one is Russian and another is from Moldova’s breakaway Trans-Dniester region.

Briceag said Germany, Ukraine, and the United States had assisted the Moldovan authorities with their investigation.

In August 2010, the Moldovan police apprehended three people and seized a container with 1.8 kilograms of highly-radioactive Uranium-238.

The smugglers had sought to sell the almost two kilograms of weapon-grade Uranium for USD 13 million on the black market.

Nuclear experts have repeatedly issued warnings about the potential trafficking of radioactive materials from former Soviet republics following the disintegration of the communist bloc.

MP/GHN/MB

Posted in: Allgemeines