BOKARO, A special police team arrested seven persons and recovered 6kg of uranium from them following raids at different parts of the city on Thursday. Bokaro SP Chandan Kumar Jha said, “We have seized the yellow substance and will send it to experts for tests. Uranium is highly radioactive substance used at nuclear facilities.”
Police said the accused, suspected to be part of national gang involved in illegal uranium trade, were searching for customers. and had fixed its price at Rs 50 lakhs per kg. Notably, a kilo of uranium sells for around Rs 18 crores in the global market, sources said. This is for the first time uranium has been seized in this industrial town.
Those arrested have been identified as Bapi Da alias Bapi Chandra, Anil Singh, Deepak Kumar, Krishna Kant, Hare Ram Sharma, Mahavir Mahto and Pankaj Mahto. They are residents of different parts of the district. Deepak and Bapi have criminal history. It is illegal to possess uranium without a license in India and violation of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, can attract stringent punishment.
Jha said police received information that some criminals are preparing to sell uranium. A nine member team headed by Chas DSP Mukesh Kumar and City DSP Kuldeep Kumar were involved in the raids. “It is still unclear how they got their hands on the radioactive metal. During interrogation, they mentioned West Bengal, Giridih and a few other places. Seven mobile phones and a motorcycle were also seized from them,” he said.
Notably, Jharkhand is among a few states in the country that has uranium mines. Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) also has a uranium processing plant at Jaduguda, about 150km from Bokaro city.
Sources said police is also investigating to ascertain whether the arrested accused have any links with a similar racket busted by Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) on May 5 after it nabbed two person . A total of 7.1 kg of natural uranium worth Rs 21.3 crore was seized from the duo identified as Jigar Jayesh Pandya (27) and Abu Tahir Afzal Choudhary (31).