CHISINAU, December 9. /TASS/. International traffickers of uranium capable of use in making "dirty bombs" have been detained at homes in Chisinau, capital of the Moldovan republic, authorities say.
International police agency Interpol and European law enforcement agency Europol have confiscated around 200 grams of uranium-238 in a special operation, chief of the republic's general police inspectorate Ion Bodrug told reporters on Tuesday.
“We found depleted uranium with uranium-235 elements. Such materials are not dangerous from a radiation viewpoint but they can be used for making dirty bombs,” Bodrug said, noting that seven suspects, including specialists in radioactive substances, had been arrested and that four more were being sought.
Police said the cargo was destined for Europe in an operation which could have earned the gang some 1.6 million euro. During home searches, one kilogram of mercury was discovered as well as “many documents showing that those arrested were aware of what they were dealing with,” Bodrug noted.
This is not the first such detention in the same region. In 2010 and 2011, traffickers seeking to sell several kilograms of uranium-238 were arrested locally.