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KLANG: Police have arrested eight people in connection with the theft of two projectors that contained radioactive material recently.

South Klang district police chief Assistant Commissioner Alzafny Ahmad said the suspects, aged between 26 and 37, were detained separately on Friday and Saturday.

He said four of them were employees at an oil and gas exploration corporation while the other four, all locals, were nabbed at Jalan Samarinda and Seri Era Apartment near here.

"Our initial investigations revealed the suspects were not aware that the stolen items contained harmful radiation.

"If the projectors were to fall to the wrong hands, they may not realise the magnitude of danger they are facing.

"If sold, the projectors can fetch a market price of around RM80,000," he said today.

Upon investigations, Alzafny said the suspects had stolen the company's van at 3am on Feb 9 to transport the stolen items. They returned the vehicle to the same location about an hour later.

The case, he said, is being investigated under Section 379 of the Penal Code for vehicle theft.

Present at the press conference today were Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) Malaysia director Hasmadi Hussain and his staff.

He said the projectors are mainly used to inspect and take measurements of the gas present in the pipes.

Hasmadi thanked the police for their cooperation and quick response.

It was reported yesterday that authorities seized several stolen radioactive materials from a scrap metal company and an apartment near here.

The materials, believed to be Iridium 192, were reported stolen earlier this week from the oil and gas company.

It was learnt that authorities used a special detector brought in by the AELB to pinpoint the material’s whereabouts.

South Klang district police chief Assistant Commissioner Alzafny Ahmad (right) listens as Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) Malaysia senior assistant engineer Zulkefle Hussin (centre) explains how the special device detects radioactive materials. Pix by MUHAMMAD SULAIMAN.
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