Intelligence officials said several had been detained following investigation
Security personnel didn’t reveal size of haul but said it was worth £154,000
Raid comes amid a growing underground trade of radioactive substances
Moldovan intelligence officials say they have seized an ‘imposing quantity’ of radioactive uranium from a criminal group and detained several people.
The Moldovan Intelligence and Security Service said the uranium was due to be sold for £154,000 but did not say how big the haul was.
In a statement, it said ‘a criminal group specializing in smuggling radioactive substances was uncovered’, adding that ‘members of the group were found to be Moldovan citizens.’
Video courtesy of: Dark Horse News
It said there was an ongoing investigation into where the uranium came from and how the detained people got involved.
Officials released a video of the raid which shows one person being tackled to the ground by special forces who then use a device to register the radioactivity of a package in the back seat.
In February 2015, an attempt to sell highly radioactive caesium to Islamist terrorists, including ISIS, was thwarted by the FBI and Moldovan security personnel.
The seller had asked for enough of the substance to contaminate several city streets with a dirty bomb.
An investigation revealed in 2015 that there have been at least four attempts in the past five years in which criminal networks with suspected Russian ties sought to sell radioactive material to extremists through Moldova.
Five people were detained in June 2011 in Chisinau suspected of smuggling radioactive substances as they were attempting to sell a kilogram of uranium for 32 million euros.
The buyers were believed to be in North Africa. The suspects were convicted and handed prison sentences of three to five years.
Uranium-238 can be enriched into the fissile material of nuclear warheads or converted into plutonium, also used to arm nuclear missiles.