December 29, 2005
Venezuela recovers stolen radioactive capsule
CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuela said on Thursday
it had found a capsule of highly radioactive material that was
aboard a truck stolen 10 days ago.
Officials had warned of a potential radioactive hazard
after thieves seized the truck carrying the capsule in its
lunchbox-sized protective container.
"The radioactive capsule was found in Yaritagua in Yaracuy
State thanks to the intelligence work of the National Guard,"
the Interior and Justice Ministry said in a statement.
Officials said an investigative police detective, two state
security police agents and a salesman were arrested in
connection with the theft.
The statement did not mention a possible motive. Officials
previously said they thought it was simply a stolen vehicle
Energy Ministry specialists were sent to the region to
examine the capsule, the statement said.
The device contains Iridium-192, which emits powerful gamma
radiation and is used for industrial radiography, such as for
detecting faults in underground industrial pipes.
Two Iridium-192 capsules disappeared in two Venezuelan
states in March this year. One has been found and authorities
suspect the other was dumped in Lake Maracaibo in western