A piece of sensation came from Siberia today. East-Siberian customs nabbed a Russian citizen, who attempted to carry over 27 tons of uranium abroad.
The man’s name, as well as the country, where he was intended to take uranium to, have not been exposed for the sake of the investigation. Well, if you look at the map of East Siberia, then you will easily understand that the country of destination can be only China. At the same time, it would not be correct to say that China was going to be the point of final destination of the cargo. Uranium could be shipped anywhere.
For the time being, it is too early to make any conclusions. The investigation is supposed to answer all questions. Yet, an occasion like that might bring harm to Russia’s international reputation. As it is well known, officials and media outlets of the USA and other Western countries keep saying that the Russian mafia tries to sell radioactive materials to terrorists. American special services claimed that Al-Qaeda conducted negotiations with Russian criminal groups about purchasing nuclear weapons.
Illegal sales of radioactive materials are not a big surprise in Russia. Messages about some “businessmen” that tried to sell uranium abroad are not rare. However, no one tried to sell tons, just several kilos, really. A Siberian vendor set a record. Until recently, Russian law-enforcement officers have managed to prevent any illegal attempts to sell radioactive substances. But the number of those crimes raises a lot of concern indeed.