KUALA LUMPUR: the public does not have to panic about the 23kg Radioactive Dispersal Device (RDD) that has been missing since 10 August, said Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Azis Jamman.
He said that the police are investigating the case and that the situation is still under control.
"So far everything is under control, there is nothing to worry about at the moment," he said.
He said the authorities had dealt with suspects, but he could not reveal any details about the arrest.
Azis also noted that the police still have to determine the motive for the case.
"This is the first time that such a case occurred, it simply happened that there was a radioactive element when the incident took place," Azis said.
He added that the police inspector general would make further announcements on developments in the case.
An English newspaper reported that the missing device is an industrial radiographic device containing the radioactive isotope Iridium-192.
Iridium-192 emits beta and gamma radiation during decay during the estimated half-life of 73 days.
It is taught that the device has a market value of approximately RM75,000.
The police and the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) struggle to find the missing RDD for fear that it can be used to make a dirty bomb if it falls into the wrong hands.
Authorities are also concerned that the RDD can cause an enormous exposure to radiation if it is dismantled for scrap.
The device is owned by a private company that offers testing, calibration and inspection services to heavy industries, including oil, gas and energy companies.
Source citation, the report states that the RDD was used by two of the company's technicians for a job in Seremban.
After completing their duties, they reportedly loaded the 23 kg device on the back of their pickup and left their office at Shah Alam at 2:00 in the morning.
The device was missing when they arrived an hour later.
The duo claimed they did not stop during their return journey and feared it had fallen off their truck.