Istanbul police seize 13 aluminum bars
ISTANBUL – Anadolu AgencyA total of 13 bars of unidentified material seized during a police operation on Jan. 11 in Istanbul have been determined to be pure aluminum, Turkish police said on Feb. 10.
Acting on a tip, Istanbul police searched a jewelry dealer’s car on Jan. 11 in the city’s Fatih district and seized 13 bars of an unidentified material.
After police arrested the dealer, identified as E.A, they sent the blocks to the Turkish Atomic Energy Institute for testing.
Turkish police said the institute determined they were in fact pure aluminum, which can be used to produce nuclear energy or to develop a nuclear warhead.
The market value of the material was estimated to be at least 40 million Turkish Liras.
During the interrogation in the police department, the dealer said he had received a bag containing the metal bars from a friend and that he did not know what was inside the bag.
An Istanbul prosecutor released the dealer without pursuing charges.
The investigation is still ongoing.
In a similar incident, local press had reported that Istanbul police had seized 50 kilograms of pure aluminum in November 2009.