Cesium Peddlers Arrested in Belarus
The Belarusian National Security Committee (KGB) arrested four Belarussian nationals in the city of Bobruysk who were attempting to sell two containers of the radioactive isotope cesium-137 for $500,000, RIA Novosti reported on 13 February 2003. According to the investigation, the illegal material was brought to Belarus by a Russian citizen, who is now being sought in connection with the case. Tests have shown that the two containers hold a commercially-produced radioactive element, and the packaging of the material supports this claim. The Mogilev office of the KGB has filed charges against the suspects. Meanwhile, doctors who have examined the suspects say they will suffer radiation sickness at a minimum, as the sealed containers emit radiation that exceeds the acceptable norm by 20 times.
Abstract Number: 20030190
Headline: V Belorussii zaderzhany chetvero grazhdan pri popytke sbyt dva konteynera s tseziem-137
Date: 13 February 2003
Bibliography: RIA "Novosti"; in Integrum Techno, http://www.integrum.ru
Author: Olesya Luchaninova and Vera Pollo
Material: radioactive isotopes
This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright © 2011 by MIIS.
This article is part of a collection examining reported incidents of nuclear or radioactive materials trafficking in or originating from the Newly Independent States.
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