Loose Nuke Smugglers Caught With Uranium

ABC News

MOSCOW - Seven individuals were reportedly arrested for allegedly trafficking uranium and weapons in a breakaway region of Moldova.

The unnamed group had been detained last week in the separatist enclave of Transnistria, according to Moldova's interior ministry, Reuters reported.

The group had allegedly been involved in shipments of hand grenades, Kalashnikov assault rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers, and even containers of uranium-235, which could be used to produce a nuclear bomb. The ministry provided no further details about the uranium shipment or its origin, according to Reuters.

The United States has been very concerned about loose nuclear material being trafficked through parts of the former Soviet Union.

This is not the first reported case of uranium-235 smuggling in Transnistria. In June, 2011 Moldovan police reportedly arrested six members of a criminal group for trying to peddle one kilogram of uranium-235 for about $38 million. That nuclear material had allegedly been sourced in Russia. Three of those individuals were convicted last May.

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