Cops mum on reported release of duo in missing radioactive device case

Kenneth Tee
Selangor police chief Datuk Mazlan Mansor at a press conference in Shah Alam August 20, 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

SHAH ALAM, Aug 20 — State police confirmed today the reported theft of a 23kg Radioactive Dispersal Device (RDD) worth RM75,000, but refused to corroborate information that two men arrested in the case have since been released.

Selangor police chief Commissioner Datuk Pahlawan Mazlan Mansor demurred by saying the revelation of the information could endanger the investigation.

“I can, however, confirm a police report was lodged and two arrests were made as a follow-up action,” he said today.

Mazlan also confirmed both men arrested were employees of the company responsible for the transportation of the radioactive device.

The New Straits Times (NST) reported today that the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) and the police were looking into the disappearance of the RDD after it went missing during its journey from Seremban, Negri Sembilan to Shah Alam, Selangor.

The report said two technicians were arrested over inconsistencies in their statements but were released due to lack of evidence.

The RDD is a non-nuclear industrial radiography equipment, but which contains the radioactive isotope Iridium-192 that emits beta and gamma radiation.

The paper cited metallurgy expert Abd Nassir Ibrahim, the managing director of Madani NDT Training Centre, as saying the equipment is used in various engineering projects, including the building and maintenance of power plants, chemical and petrochemical plants, and automobiles factories, but in the hands of terrorists, can be turned into a “dirty bomb”.

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