Search

 

Cablegate: Alleged Nuclear Smuggling Incident at the Russia-Kazakhstan Border

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #2943 3381408
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 041408Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5591
INFO RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ASTANA 0349

S E C R E T MOSCOW 002943

SIPDIS

FOR STATE ISN/WMDT AND PM/ISO/PMAT (24/7)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/04/2019
TAGS: ASEC KCRM KNNP KZ MNUC PARM PINR PTER RS UP
SUBJECT: ALLEGED NUCLEAR SMUGGLING INCIDENT AT THE RUSSIA-KAZAKHSTAN BORDER REF: TELEPHONE CONVERSATION BETWEEN FSN AND RUSSIAN CUSTOMS OFFICER RELAYED TO EXBS ADVISOR Classified By: DCM ERIC RUBIN FOR REASONS 1.4 (B, C, D).

1.(S) BEGIN SUMMARY: Post wishes to alert the Department and Washington agencies per reftel that it has received a report indicating a potential incident of illicit trafficking in nuclear and/or radiological materials. This report came to post,s attention via a telephone conversation between a xxxxxxxxxxxx and the Export Controls and Related Border Security (EXBS) FSN, which was relayed to the EXBS Advisor. Post cautions that details of the alleged incident are very sketchy. END SUMMARY.

2.Details of the alleged incident follow:

LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION OF MATERIAL ALARM AND DETECTION DETAILS

a. (S) EXBS FSN received a telephone call from a xxxxxxxxxxxx on the Russia-Kazakhstan border. xxxxxxxxxxxx. The telephone call was part of a larger conversation between the EXBS FSN and the officer that occurred some time in August 2009. The information was not relayed to the Advisor immediately after it occurred, but some time later. b. (S) The informant told the FSN that during the summer of 2009, Russian customs officers reported two or three incidents in which unshielded cobalt-60 was detected in railroad passenger cars traveling from Kazakhstan headed for Russia. A large though unspecific number of people were exposed to the cobalt-60 which, while highly radioactive, was not weapons grade. A reportedly one-half to one kilo of the material was seized, although it is not clear whether that was the estimated amount per seizure, or the total amount seized during the two or three incidents. The radioactive materials were discovered at the Russian border with Kazakhstan, when the radiation portal monitors were set off. c. (S) It is assumed that there was an investigation, but it is not known if there were any arrests or detentions. (Note: Russian Customs officials do not have arrest authority; the matters would have been referred to either FSB or MVD. End Note) It is not known who sent the materials out or what their intent was. Post will attempt to verify the information through multiple liaison channels but at this point cannot vouch for its veracity. Beyrle

0 12/04/2009 2675 ASEC,KCRM,KNNP,KZ,MNUC,PARM,PINR,PTER,RS,UP ALLEGED NUCLEAR SMUGGLING INCIDENT AT THE RUSSIA-KAZAKHSTAN BORDER
Post wishes to alert the Department and Washington agencies per reftel that it has received a report indicating a potential incident of illicit trafficking in nuclear and/or radiological materials. This report came to post,s attention via a telephone conversation between xxxxxxxxxxxx and the Export Controls and Related Border Security (EXBS) FSN, which was relayed to the EXBS Advisor. Post cautions that details of the alleged incident are very sketchy.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Palestinian Ministry of Health: Developments In The Health Situation During The Israeli Aggression On The Cities & Governorates Of The Gaza Strip
For the second day in a row, the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip continues by targeting overcrowded residential areas and neighborhoods, as the death toll rose to 13 citizens, including a 5-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman... More>>


UN: Horn Of Africa Faces Most ‘Catastrophic’ Food Insecurity In Decades, Warns WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday that the Greater Horn of Africa is experiencing one of the worst famines of the last 70 years... More>>

FAO: Warns 90 Per Cent Of Earth’s Topsoil At Risk By 2050
A full 90 per cent of the Earth’s precious topsoil is likely to be at risk by 2050, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO...
More>>


Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>



Singapore: UN Experts Call For Immediate Moratorium On Executions For Drug Offences

UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drug related charges... More>>