Two men have been arrested after authorities were alerted of their plans to illegally sell pieces of highly explosive and radioactive uranium.
The arrests were made by the Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) in India after an investigator received information that a 27-year-old man named Jigar Jayesh Pandya of Thane, India, was searching for a potential buyer for the material, which is used in making nuclear explosives.
In an effort to catch Pandya in the act, the ATS set up a trap and managed to arrest the suspect, who was found with some small pieces of uranium. During an inquiry after the arrest, Pandya revealed the material had been supplied by another man, Abu Tahir Afzal Hussain Choudhary, of Mankhurd.
Officers subsequently went after Choudhary and arrested him at Kurla Scrap Association in Mankhurd, Mumbai, where they also seized 7.100 kg of uranium, India TV News reports.
Pandya and Choudhary are said to have had the material tested at a private laboratory in order to check its purity, and officials are now questioning the two suspects to trace further links in the supply chain.
Maharashtra ATS has arrested two accused and sent to custody till May 12th for illegal possession of Uranium. 7 KG of seized substance has natural Uranium which is “highly radioactive and dangerous to human life” said a lab report from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). pic.twitter.com/kvGpV3s5KX
— Prasar Bharati News Services पी.बी.एन.एस. (@PBNS_India) May 6, 2021
Following the operation, the uranium was sent to the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) at Trombay for analysis, where it was determined that the substance was natural uranium, which is ‘highly radioactive and dangerous to human life’.
On Wednesday, May 5, the ATS registered a case under provisions of the Atomic Energy Act-1962 and the two suspects appeared at a local court, which remanded them in the custody of the ATS until May 12.