Thai Police Seize Cesium


Police in Thailand arrested a 47-year-old Thai man who had 30 kilograms of the radioactive isotope cesium-137 in his possession, Lenta.Ru reported on 13 June 2003. According to the report, the material arrived in Thailand from neighboring Laos, but Thai police suspect it may have originated in Russia.  Police say the material could be used to build a radioactive dispersal device, or a so-called "dirty bomb."  Another report says the amount of material involved was 27 kilograms and also mentions Russia as its likely original source.[1] (For more details on this incident, including reports that the amount of cesium seized was much smaller than 30kg, see abstract 20030500.)

Abstract Number:  20030400
Headline:  Politsiya Tailanda schitaet, chto konfiskovala 30 kilogrammov rossiyskogo tseziya [Thai Police Believe They Have Confiscated 30 Kilograms of Russian Cesium.]
Date:  13 June 2003
Bibliography:; Integrum Techno database,
Material: radioactive isotopes

[1] Philip Shenon, "Police in Thailand Seize Radioactive Material," New York Times, 14 June 2003; in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe,

June 13, 2003

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 2019.