Osmium Traffickers Arrested in Istanbul


Istanbul police seized 2kg of osmium-187 in 64 glass tubes and took six people into custody, Sabah reported on 30 August 2001. The arrests took place on 29 August 2001 after customs officials received a tip-off and began to investigate a company in Istanbul.[1] The six suspects, whose nationalities were not identified in the reports, are reported to be intermediaries in an international smuggling and trading ring dealing with nuclear and chemical substances. The report did not identify potential customers for the osmium. [In the article, Sabah claims that osmium-187 is forbidden in international trade and may be used in missile technologies. However, osmium is not a controlled material under US law or the guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and according to the US Defense Special Weapons Agency, "cannot be used in the production of nuclear weapons." It is frequently used in scams by con artists, however, who claim that it has nuclear weapons applications.]

[1] Anatolia (Ankara), 30 August 2001; in "Customs Officials Seize Radioactive Substance in Istanbul," FBIS Document GMP20010830000076.

Abstract Number :  20010380
Headline:  Osmium Traffickers Arrested in Istanbul
Date:  30 August 2001
Bibliography:   FBIS Document GMP20010830000208
Author:   Serdar Canipek
Orig. Src.:   Sabah (Istanbul), 30 August 2001 
Material:   Waste/ Scams/ Contaminated Materials


August 30, 2001

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.