Police, AELB form special team to locate missing radioactive device

Iskandar Shah Mohamed

SHAH ALAM: The police and the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) have activated a special team to locate a 23-kg Radioactive Dispersal Device (RDD) that has been missing since Aug 10. The team has been tasked to work around the clock and one of its main focus is to search for the radioactive device, an Industrial Radiography Equipment, which contains isotope Iridium-192, and emits beta and gamma radiation as it decays during its estimated half life of 73 days. Selangor police chief Datuk Mazlan Mansor said his men has yet to obtain any new leads on the device that will be able to assist in the course of investigations. “So far, we have yet to receive any information that would point to the possibility of the device being brought out of Selangor,” said Mazlan after attending the Selangor police contingent level Ibadah Qurban Perdana programme at Surau Khalid Al-Walid today. Also present were MAHSA university chancellor Tun Zaki Azmi and Lembaga Zakat Selangor (LZS) chief coordinating officer Abdul Basith Hamid. In the programme that was jointly organised by MAHSA University, LZS and Media Prima Berhad, a total of 42 cows and goats were sacrificed and distributed to 80 poor people, Muslim converts as well as congregation living in the area. NSTP had frontpaged the missing the RDD which is feared to be wrongly used by certain parties, including terrorists to produce bombs. The RDD was discovered missing on Aug 10 at 3am by two technicians of a company which had loaded the device into a pick-up truck after completing a task in Seremban. At 2am, they left for their office based in Shah Alam which offers test, calibration and inspection services to the oil and gas industry, as well as power plants, manufacturing, automotive and transportation sectors, among others. Upon arriving in Shah Alam an hour later, they found the device missing from the company’s Nissan Navara. The duo, in their 30s, told investigators that the tailgate of their vehicle was already lowered when they reached their office. The police and AELB feared that the device would fall into the hands of irresponsible parties such as terrorists or the public, who may see it as scrap metal that can be sold for money. The device is estimated to be worth RM75,000 in the market and as it contains Iridium-192, it is often stolen and could potentially be used to assemble bombs. The authorities have yet to determine if the motive of the incident is linked to terrorism or organised crime.


Selangor police chief Datuk Mazlan Mansor said his men has yet to obtain any new leads on the device that will be able to assist in the course of investigations. (NSTP/ROSLIN MAT TAHIR)

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