Uranium-contaminated package found at Heathrow Airport

Border Force found material in a package that arrived in the UK on December 29

Passengers queue at Border Force desks in Heathrow Airport, west London, on September 1. Reuters
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UK counter-terrorism officials have provided information after Border Force officers at Heathrow Airport seized material contaminated with uranium.

“We can confirm officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command were contacted by Border Force colleagues at Heathrow, after a very small amount of contaminated material was identified after routine screening within a package incoming to the UK on December 29, 2022," Scotland Yard said.

Commander Richard Smith said: “I want to reassure the public that the amount of contaminated material was extremely small and has been assessed by experts as posing no threat to the public.

“Although our investigation remains ongoing, from our inquiries so far, it does not appear to be linked to any direct threat.

"As the public would expect, however, we will continue to follow up on all available lines of inquiry to ensure this is definitely the case.

“However, it does highlight the excellent capability we and our partners have in place to monitor our ports and borders, in order to keep the public safe from any potential threats to their safety and security that might be coming into the UK.”

Heathrow passengers - in pictures

The force said the material has been identified as being contaminated with uranium.

No arrests were made and officers are working with partner agencies to investigate and ensure there is no risk to the public.

It is understood that the Home Office did not believe there was any threat to the public.

“We do not comment on live investigations," a Home Office representative said.

The Sun, which first reported the story, said the package originated from Pakistan and arrived at Terminal 4 on a flight from Oman.

The BBC said the uranium was in a shipment of scrap metal and one line of inquiry was whether it was the result of “poor handling”.

Updated: January 10, 2023, 11:57 PM