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15 November 2011

Alert against illegal trafficking of nuclear materialsTanzania on Monday, 14 November, 2011 at 09:44 (09:44 AM) UTC.

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Police and other state organs are on alert against illegal trafficking of nuclear materials into the country, the director of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Robert Manumba has affirmed. He confirmed that there were several incidents where radioactive materials have been brought into Tanzania or those legally acquired have fallen into improper hands. He added that much concern will be when uranium mining starts after various deposits were found in the country. “Some people have been caught with illegal possession of nuclear materials. Our scientific experts must work closely with the police to ensure the situation is brought to a control”, he told reporters after closing a week-long training course on combating illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials for police officers from various African countries. He said police are worried over the mining of uranium, a radioactive mineral, set to commence shortly, as there was a likelihood of nuclear materials, which are hazardous to people’s health falling into the wrong hands of illegal traffickers or improperly trained practitioners. He emphasised that police need specialised training on how to handle nuclear materials and deal with those involved in illegal trafficking. The CID chief specifically called on experts working with the Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission (Taec) to work closely with the police who are not yet well versed with dangers posed by nuclear hazards or uranium and other radioactive minerals soon to be mined in the country — in Dodoma, central Tanzania. Earlier when closing the training attended by over 40 senior police and intelligence officers from 22 African states, Mr Manumba cited unlawful possession, use, transfer, alteration, disposal and dispersal of radioactive materials as potential sources of danger that can cause death and injuries to people.