Uranium worth over Rs 21cr seized by Mumbai ATS

Mumbai: The Mumbai Anti Terrorist Squad (Nagpada Unit) has seized 7.10 kgs of radioactive Natural Uranium and arrested two persons, an official said here on Thursday.

The seized material was sent to the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre which has said in its report that it was ‘Natural Uranium’ which is highly radioactive and very dangerous to human life.

Following the seizure of the Natural Uranium, estimated to be worth around Rs. 21.30 crore, the ATS has registered an offence against the accused duo under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 and other laws, and further investigations are underway.

According to the ATS, on February 14, Police Inspector Santosh Bhalekar received a tip-off that one person of Thane, 27-year old Jigar Jayesh Pandya was reportedly planning to make a sale deal of some pieces of illegally acquired Uranium.

After verifying the tip, Bhalekar and other ATS sleuths laid a trap and succeeded in apprehending Pandya.

Following his interrogation, Pandya revealed that the Uranium pieces were given to him by one Abu Tahir Afzal Choudhary, 31.

Choudhary hails from the Mankhurd suburb in north-east Mumbai, barely 3 km away from the BARC’s Anushakti Nagar in Trombay.

Immediately, the ATS team comprising Bhalerao, API Prashant Sawant and others rushed to Mankhurd from where they apprehended Choudhary, and the radioactive material was seized under a panchnama.

After receiving the BARC analysis report, and a complaint lodged by the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research, Nagpur, the Mumbai ATS Nagpada Unit on May 5 filed a first information report invoking the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 and other laws.

The accused Pandya and Choudhary were produced before a Magistrate Court and remanded to ATS custody till May 12.

The ATS is attempting to verify how and from where Choudhary managed o lay his hands on such a large quantity of the dangerous and radioactive substance like Natural Uranium, to whom Pandya was planning to sell it, their other associates in the conspiracy and related aspects.

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