CARACAS, Venezuela, Jan 4 (Reuters) – Thieves in Venezuela have stolen equipment containing radioactive material used in the oil industry, in the latest in a string of similar incidents, officials said on Wednesday.
Angel Diaz, head of the energy ministry’s nuclear affairs department, warned the Cesium-137 material could cause contamination if exposed. The equipment, used in oil prospecting, was stolen last week in eastern Anzoategui State.
Authorities arrested three police officers in December after they were linked to the robbery of a truck carrying a device containing Iridium-192, used to check oil pipelines.
Two other capsules with Iridium-192 went missing in March through negligence in two separate incidents. Both of those capsules have since been found, one dumped in Lake Maracaibo in the west of the country.