April 10, 2019
Tokyo--Tokyo police are investigating suspected online trade of uranium by a 16-year-old high school boy in the Japanese capital, investigative sources have said.
The boy may have violated the law regulating nuclear reactors and materials, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.
On Monday, the MPD sent to prosecutors papers on the boy for allegedly producing and possessing erythritol tetranitrate (ETN), a lethal explosive, last year without permission against the explosives control law.
According to the sources, the secretariat for Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority reported to the MPD in January last year that a substance claimed to be 99.9 pct pure uranium had been put up for sale on an online auction site.
The police launched an investigation based on the information and confirmed that the substance was actually uranium and that it was bought by the boy. He was also found to have made yellowcake, a type of uranium concentrate, and put it up for sale on the site, the sources said.
The MPD seized all uranium traded on the auction website and is now questioning several people, including the boy, on a voluntary basis.
The boy has been found to have contacted through Twitter and Line a 19-year-old former university student in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, who was sentenced to three to five years in prison last month for making an explosive called triacetone triperoxide (TATP), a gun and stimulants.
The boy is believed to have reported progress in ETN production to the former university student.
The MPD and the Aichi prefectural police department searched the home of the high school student in October last year and found items, including the explosive.
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