A small amount of uranium was seized in a package at London’s Heathrow Airport on 29 December
The Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday denied British media reports about the package of uranium seized at London’s Heathrow airport originating from Pakistan, calling them “untrue”.
British police said in a statement on Wednesday that a small amount of uranium was seized in a package at Heathrow Airport on December 29, adding that it did not appear to be linked to an immediate risk or risk to public health.
Richard Smith, head of the London police’s Counter-Terrorism Command, said the amount of radioactive material was insignificant and experts assessed it as not posing a threat.
A report in The Sun later claimed that the parcel had originated in Pakistan before arriving on an Oman Air passenger jet from Muscat. The shipment was addressed to an Iranian company in the UK, the report said.
Responding to media queries on the matter, FO spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said, “We have seen the media reports. We are certain that the reports are not true.”
He added that UK authorities have not shared details on the matter at this time.
“No immediate threat”
Speaking to The News, a Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We can confirm that Border Force colleagues at Heathrow have contacted officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command after a very small amount of contaminated material was detected following a routine check on a package that arrived in the UK on 29 December 2022.”
Commander Richard Smith said the radioactive material found at the airport did not pose a threat to the public. He added that their investigation remains ongoing. However, it does not appear to be linked to any immediate threat so far.
The official added that the agency will continue to follow all available lines of inquiry to ensure this is the case.
Richard added, “no arrests have been made at this time and officers are continuing to work with partner agencies to fully investigate this matter and ensure there is no risk to the public. Border Force agents isolated the cargo in a radioactive room and, after determining it was uranium, called the counter-terrorism police.”
A former commander of the UK’s nuclear defense regiment, Hamish De Bretton-Gordon, said: “Uranium can emit very high levels of poisonous radiation. It could be used in a dirty bomb. The good news is that the system worked and it has been blocked.”