Police in India’s northeastern district of Bokaro, Jharkhand, have arrested seven people who were allegedly trying to sell uranium. The incident is being investigated by counter-terrorism officers, according to local media.
On Thursday, Bokaro Police Superintendent Chandan Kumar Jha said officers seized 6 kilos of the highly radioactive material following raids at different locations in the district.
The uranium, which at high purities can be used to make nuclear weapons, will be sent off for analysis by forensic experts.Seven mobile phones and a motorbike were also seized, police said.
All seven suspects have been remanded in custody after two days of questioning.
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The matter has now been referred to India’s National Investigation Agency, which is working with local police, according to multiple local media.
The Jagran news site also reported that the uranium was contained in small packets that had allegedly been procured from the US by a dealer based in Jharkhand.
Police are said to be hunting one man who is reported to have distributed the packets among the suspects for selling
The Aaj Tak news site put the international market value of the seized uranium at several ‘crores’ of rupees – an amount equivalent to hundreds of thousands of US dollars.
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The uranium seizure is the second such incident in India in less than a month, after the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad confiscated more than 7 kilos of uranium in the western state in early May.
Two men were arrested over that $2.9 million uranium haul, which was also intended for the market, police said.
One of the suspects, an alleged uranium dealer, was arrested in Mumbai as he tried to sell the material, according to investigators.
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