Pakistan denied on Thursday that a uranium-tainted cargo box that arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport last month was sent from Karachi, claiming that the information was “not factual.”
British counterterrorism police began an investigation on Wednesday after border agents at Heathrow Airport last month discovered uranium-tainted goods there. The uranium came from Pakistan, according to the local media, which broke the story and added that it was discovered in a consignment of scrap metal.
A senior Pakistani official responded to the accusations by calling them “untrue,” noting that the UK has not officially shared any information with Pakistan. “No information to this effect has been shared with us officially. We are confident that the reports are not factual,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra said.
The package did not originate in Pakistan, as alleged by British media, according to Pakistani officials. It has been discovered that the cargo package landed at Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 on passenger flight WY 101 of Oman Air, which touched down on December 29 in the evening.
UK officials believe the box was checked in as cargo when the plane took off from Pakistan and made a stopover in Muscat, Oman. Regular airport scanners recognised the package upon arrival, alerting Border Force authorities to examine the contents.
The uranium in concern was embedded in metal bars, and the container also contained scrap metal. According to media reports, the package was being sent to Iranian people who reside in the UK. However, other media sources claimed that it was being sent to an Iranian-owned company in London.
The UK’s Metropolitan Police claimed that after receiving the item, Border Force officials notified their counterterrorism command section. Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met Police counter-terrorism command, said on Wednesday at the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee that police will pursue every possible lead to learn how it entered the country and what it was intended to achieve.
He claimed that the consignments that had been discovered included just a very little amount of contaminated material and that there was no concern to the public’s health. Former British Army chemical weapons unit commander Hamish de Bretton-Gordon expressed concern that the substance came all the way from Pakistan to the UK.
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