The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Wednesday arrested two persons from Kolkata in possession of around 250 grams of suspected Californium, a synthetic radioactive material that is used in nuclear reactors.
Sailan Karmakar (41) and Asit Ghosh (49) both residents of Hooghly district in West Bengal were caught near the NSCBI airport near Kolkata. Sharing information on the arrest, a police officer said, “Four ash-coloured stones weighing around 250 grams were seized from the accused.”
“Preliminary enquiry revealed that it could be Californium. They were trying to sell it for a few lakh rupees,” the officer added further.
A sample of the radioactive material has been sent by the CID officials to a government laboratory to verify if it’s Californium. A gram of this radioactive material costs around Rs 170 crores, News 18 reported citing police sources. It is used in nuclear reactors and detection of gold and silver in ores.
“The accused persons have said they got the material from Kerala and brought it here to sell. We are verifying all statements,” informed the officer further.
As per reports, the two accused have been arrested under the Atomic Energy Act and various other IPC sections. It is imperative to note that Californium is not found in nature and has to be produced in a lab.
“We believe these materials have been stolen from some laboratory. We have initiated a probe into this matter,” the officer said.