- Maharashtra ATS nabbed Jigar Pandya (27) and Abu Tahir (31) on May 5
- The BARC confirmed that material seized from the duo was natural uranium
- NIA has registered a fresh case under Section 24(1)(a) of Atomic Energy Act, 1962
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the probe into the recovery of natural uranium in Mumbai. A fresh case was registered in this regard by the anti-terror agency in pursuance of an order from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
According to the NIA’s spokesperson, the case has been registered under Section 24(1)(a) of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962.
Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested two men on May 5 in possession of the radioactive metal. A total of 7.1 kg of natural uranium worth Rs 21.3 crore was seized from the duo identified as Jigar Jayesh Pandya (27) and Abu Tahir Afzal Choudhary (31).
A case was initially lodged against the two at the ATS Kalachowki police station.
According to officials, Pandya and Tahir had been trying to sell off the uranium online for Rs 25 crore. The Maharashtra ATS sent a dummy customer and secured a sample of the substance.
Tests run on the sample by experts at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) confirmed that the substance was natural uranium.
It is still unclear how the two managed to get their hands on the radioactive metal. Some reports suggest that Tahir’s father owns a scrap yard in Mankhurd and bought a truck with factory waste almost two years ago. Uranium was among the many forms of industrial waste on this truck.
It is illegal to possess uranium in India without a license. A violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1962 in this regard can attract stringent punishment.