Skip to comments.Congo official arrested in uranium sale
Posted on 03/07/2007 3:16:12 PM PST by NormsRevenge
KINSHASA, Congo - The head of Congo's atomic energy commission has been arrested on suspicion of illegally selling uranium found in the Central African mineral giant, officials said Wednesday.
Fortunat Lumu, the director of the country's only nuclear center, and one of his aides were arrested Tuesday "because they were accused of having illicitly sold a quantity of uranium," Attorney General Tshimanga Mukendi said.
Mukendi refused to give information on the amount of uranium or the alleged buyer, saying those details were part of an investigation.
He added only that they were accused of orchestrating illicit contracts to produce and sell uranium.
National police representative Michel Kanka confirmed the arrest, but also refused to give details.
In August, Congo's government emphatically denied a report in The Sunday Times of London that a uranium shipment left its territory in 2005 bound for Iran, saying the dangerous element was tightly controlled by international agencies. Officials declined to say if there was any connection between the arrest and the alleged 2005 shipment.
The Sunday Times said the uranium was suspected of being extracted illegally from Congo's southeastern Shinkolobwe mine, which was closed in 1961.
Uranium can be used to breed plutonium, which is used both in nuclear warheads and as fuel for nuclear reactors. Lumu, as head of Congo's small nuclear reactor built for research just before Congo's 1960 independence, would likely have had access to the uranium, but it was unclear if in any large quantities.
Who did you sell the uranium to you b*stard?!!!!! Any guesses?
In public, anyway.
This story must be mistaken. Joe Wilson found that there was no uranium for sale anywhere in Africa to anybody who might harbor ill-will towards America.
Joe Wilson alert.
Please reports as witness for the defense, being that "the US State Department and certain elements of the CIA WMD proliferation team are willing to stake US national defense policy and planning on the assessment that the French control the uranium mines and therefore no African could divert uranium to a mideast/rogue buyer"
Sweet mint tea now being served.
And PS Joe- this travel is not at the request from the office of the vice Preident. You'll be using CIA excess frequent flyer miles available to unemployed spouses of desk agents.
Say it ain't so, Joe!