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Smuggled Radioactive Material Seized In Turkey

The anti-smuggling unit of Turkey's Gendarmerie Command has seized two glass tubes containing 500 grams of Cesium-137, a radioactive isotope of cesium, which it suspects was smuggled to the country from Russia through Georgia.

Acting on a tip-off that radioactive substances had been brought into Turkey from Georgia by a car with a German license plate, security officials located the vehicle and followed it to the Yenimahalle district of capital Ankara.

Upon searching the car, they found 500 grams of Cesium-137 in two glass tubes as well as an unlicensed gun and 18 antique coins. Three people in the car, all Turkish nationals living in Germany, were detained, Turkish media reported on Thursday quoting officials.

Cesium-137, the most common radioactive form of the metal cesium, is commonly used for cancer treatment and in a variety of gauges in the construction and drilling industries, but it can be used in nuclear weapon production as well, the report added.

by RTT Staff Writer

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