Russian Gangs Behind Black Market Nuclear Deals in Eastern Europe


LONDON -- An Associated Press investigation says gangs with ties to Russia are behind black market dealings of nuclear materials in Eastern Europe.

The AP says the gangs intend to connect with extremist groups like ISIS in the middle east.

"We are very concerned by these different incidents of terrorists trying to acquire either nuclear or radiological material. We know that the threat is real," said Andrew Bieniawski, who's the Head of Nuclear Threat Initiative.

In the past five years, four such attempts by the gangs were interrupted in Moldova by authorities working with the FBI, according to the AP.

In a case from earlier this year, it's claimed an armed smuggler offered to sell enough radioactive Caesium to contaminate several city blocks in exchange for $2.8 million.

In another case a man said to have links to Russian crime named Teodor Chetrus allegedly told investigators he would sell Uranium for $35 million per kilogram.

The AP says radioactive material was seized in some cases, but it was always a small amount or not very potent.

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