The Indian authorities have arrested two suspects from the city of Kolkata for illegally possessing radioactive substances worth over $573 million, the senior Crime Investigation Department (CID) officer said on Thursday.
Acting on a tip-off from a person, who was reportedly approached by the accused for the sale of the four pieces of radioactive material, the CID officials detained them, reported NDTV.
One of the four pieces seized is suspected to be Californium, which has several practical uses, police sources said.
“The duo claimed that they bought the radioactive substances, which weighed 250 kilograms in all, from someone in Karnataka, after chancing upon him on social media,” the officer explained.
The two accused have been arrested under the Atomic Energy Act and various other sections of the Indian Penal Code, the CID officer said.
“We believe these materials have been stolen from some laboratory. We have initiated a probe into this matter,” he added.
Earlier in June this year, Pakistan demanded a thorough investigation into the reports of illegal uranium trade in India after seven more people were arrested for possessing radioactive material.
Indian police in Jharkhand state arrested seven people for possessing and planning to sell ‘mineral uranium’ in the black market, according to The Indian Express.
Police said that they seized 6.4kg of ‘uranium mineral’ from two of the accused.
According to the court records and the FIR, a senior police officer in Bokaro received a ‘tip’ on June 2 that five people – Deepak Mahato, Pankaj Kumar, Mahabir Mahato, M Sharma, and Krishna Kant – had ‘gathered together’ and were planning to ‘illegally sell prohibited mineral uranium in the black market’.