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Malaysia sees no terror link in radioactive item lost more than a week ago

Industrial radiography device that went missing on August 10 was used to detect cracks in metals

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 August, 2018, 5:48pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 August, 2018, 6:23pm

Malaysian police on Tuesday said the disappearance of an industrial item containing radioactive material more than a week ago appeared to have no link to terrorism.

Two technicians reported the device missing while they were transporting it on August 10 from the southern state of Negeri Sembilan to their company’s office in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, police said in a statement.

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Police detained the two workers for a week to assist in the investigation, but released them as no evidence linked them to the device’s disappearance. Local reports have said the two claimed they did not stop during the trip and feared the device fell off the truck.

Police said they were working with the Atomic Energy Licensing Board to find the device and track the culprits. They did not say what they believed was the reason for the device’s disappearance, but ruled out terrorism.

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Police said the 23kg (51 pound) device used in industrial radiography contains 50 curies of radioactive iridium and can cause health problems depending on the level of exposure.

Local media said the device was reportedly used to detect cracks in metals in the energy, power and transport sectors.