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IS terrorists trying to access nuclear materials via Europe

Dawood Rehman 02:32 PM | 7 Oct, 2015
IS terrorists trying to access nuclear materials via Europe
CHISINAU, Moldova (Web Desk) - Moldovan police working with the FBI are reported to have stopped four attempts by smugglers to sell nuclear material to the extremists in the Middle East over the past five years.

The most recent case was in February when undercover agents were offered a large amount of radioactive caesium, the BBC reports.

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Investigators say much of the material is believed to come from Russia. They say some gangs have alleged links to Russia's intelligence services.

Police and judicial authorities in Eastern European country of Moldova shared information with an American news agency, Associated Press, to highlight how dangerous the nuclear black market has become.

They say the deterioration in relations between Russia and the West has made it more difficult to know whether smugglers are succeeding in selling radioactive material “originating from Russia abroad”.

Moldova is a former Soviet republic.

"We can expect more of these cases," said Moldovan police officer Constantin Malic, who investigated all four cases.

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"As long as the smugglers think they can make big money without getting caught, they will keep doing it."

In many cases seen by the American news agency, deals were broken up by police in the early stages but ringleaders managed to escape - possibly with their nuclear contraband.

In the case involving the caesium, the would-be smuggler wanted 2.5m euros (£1.8m) for enough radioactive material to contaminate several city streets - and specifically sought a buyer from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

At a club in the Moldovan capital Chisinau he told a potential client - who was really an informant: "You can make a dirty bomb, which would be perfect for the Islamic State. If you have a connection with them, the business will go smoothly."

A sample vial of less-radioactive caesium 135 was produced and police pounced, arresting the man and two others.

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In 2010 three people were arrested after a sawn-off piece of a depleted uranium cylinder was exchanged for cash, the American news agency reports. In 2011, investigators broke up a deal to sell weapons-grade uranium to a potential buyer in the Middle East.

Late last year a sample of unenriched uranium was exchanged for $15,000 (£9,800). Six people were arrested but five got away, the agency said.

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It is not clear whether the cases in Moldova indicate a more widespread nuclear smuggling operations, the report says.

Eric Lund, spokesman for the US State Department's bureau in charge of non-proliferation said Moldova had taken "many important steps" to strengthen its counter nuclear smuggling capabilities.

Dawood Rehman
Dawood Rehman

The writer is a member of the staff.

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KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on February 4, 2023 (Saturday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 279.9 283.2
Euro EUR 300.98 301.58
UK Pound Sterling GBP 337.01 337.71
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.14 75.44
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.55 73.85
Australian Dollar AUD 189 192
Bahrain Dinar BHD 712.72 720.69
Canadian Dollar CAD 200 202.2
China Yuan CNY 39.67 39.73
Danish Krone DKK 39.33 39.73
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 34.19 34.54
Indian Rupee INR 3.28 3.39
Japanese Yen JPY 2.5 2.54
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 878 887
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 62.83 63.43
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.25 175.25
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.79 27.09
Omani Riyal OMR 696.08 704.08
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 73.62 74.32
Singapore Dollar SGD 204 206
Swedish Korona SEK 25.61 25.91
Swiss Franc CHF 291.69 294.19
Thai Bhat THB 8.15 8.30

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 205,200 on Saturday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs175,930.

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs167,318 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 195,157.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Karachi PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Islamabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Peshawar PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Quetta PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Sialkot PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Attock PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Gujranwala PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Jehlum PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Multan PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Bahawalpur PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Gujrat PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Nawabshah PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Chakwal PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Hyderabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Nowshehra PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Sargodha PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Faisalabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Mirpur PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430

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