Turkish security forces have seized two tubes of radioactive cesium-137 being transported in a vehicle in the northeastern province of Giresun on the Black Sea, Press TV reports. Acting on a tipoff that highly toxic radioactive material was on board a car heading from the northeastern city of Trabzon to Giresun city, which is situated 622 kilometers (387 miles) east of Ankara, Turkish soldiers stopped the car near the town of Gulburnu on Tuesday. Upon searching the car, they found two glass tubes of cesium-137 hidden inside the vehicle. The driver was taken into custody, while the radioactive material was taken to the Turkish Atomic Energy Agency to be studied. The police said the cesium-137 was to be sold in Turkey for 1 million euros ($1.3 million).
In April, Turkish security forces stopped a vehicle travelling from Georgia to Turkey and discovered 500 grams of cesium-137 in the car. The material was smuggled to Turkey from Russia through Georgia.It had an estimated market value of over 760,000 euros ($1 million). Turkish security officials located the vehicle and followed it to the Yenimahalle district of Ankara. Three people in the car were detained. Cesium-137, the most common radioactive form of the metal cesium, is commonly used for cancer treatment and in a variety of gauges in the construction and drilling industries, but it can also be used in nuclear weapons production. FP/MP/AS/HGL