Accessibility links

5 Arrested in Georgia for Attempted Uranium Sale

  • VOA News

FILE - Georgian security service investigator Savle Motiashvili speaks during a news conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, April 18, 2016. On Thursday, he announced the arrest of five Georgian citizens in connection with an attempt to sell uranuim.

FILE - Georgian security service investigator Savle Motiashvili speaks during a news conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, April 18, 2016. On Thursday, he announced the arrest of five Georgian citizens in connection with an attempt to sell uranuim.

Georgia’s security service said Thursday that it had detained five Georgian citizens who were trying to sell uranium.

A Georgian investigator, Savle Motiashvili, said the group was detained at an apartment in Kobuleti as it was trying to sell the radioactive material.

"They were aiming to sell the uranium for $3 million. The radiology review revealed that the substance uranium, with a total weight of 1 kilogram and 665 grams contained two radioactive isotopes - uranium-238 and a small amount, 0.23 percent of uranium-235," Motiashvili said.

U-238 can be used as a component in nuclear weapons.

Motiashvili said that due to the gamma ray emissions and the type of the source, direct and long-term exposure to the substance was hazardous for human life and health.

In this April 26, 2016, image made available by Georgia's security service on April 28, 2016, investigators check the radioactivity level of a substance in Tbilisi, Georgia.

In this April 26, 2016, image made available by Georgia's security service on April 28, 2016, investigators check the radioactivity level of a substance in Tbilisi, Georgia.


A Tbilisi city court ordered the suspects to pre-trial detention. They face five to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

Earlier this month Georgia's security service detained three Armenians and three Georgians for the illegal possession of nuclear material, reportedly uranium-238, they allegedly were planning to sell for $200 million.

VOA's Georgian Service contributed to this report.

XS
SM
MD
LG