Contraband radioactive cargo en route from Russia to China seized


On 16 October 2002 Interfax reported that Kazakhstani customs officers at the Bakhta checkpoint on the Kazakhstani-Chinese border in Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast had seized a Kamaz truck carrying nearly 900 kg of radioactive sand.  In all, custom officials found 17 bags of light brown sand weighing 858 kg and one bag of dark sand weighing 37 kg hidden in the truck.  The cargo was being shipped by a private Russian firm to a Chinese citizen. According to customs official Valentina Lisitskaya, the seizure took place on 30 September 2002 but was not made public at that time.[1]  Meanwhile, the customs press office reported that tests identified the contaminated material as radioactive waste.   

[1] "Radioactive Smuggling Attempt Foiled," Ananova, 16 October 2002, 

Abstract Number:  20020650
Headline:  V Vostochnom Kazakhstane predotvrashchena kontrabanda radioaktivnogo gruza iz RF v Kitay [Contraband radioactive cargo en route from Russia to China seized]
Date:  30 September 2002
Bibliography:  Interfax, 16 October 2002,
Material:  Waste/ Scams/ Contaminated Materials


October 16, 2002

This article is part of a collection examining reported incidents of nuclear or radioactive materials trafficking in or originating from the Newly Independent States.

This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2018.