LA PAZ – Bolivian police are seeking the cooperation of the public in tracking down a stolen device containing radioactive material, Interior Minister Carlos Romero said on Monday.
The nuclear densometer was stolen last week from the Chinese company Sinohydro-Bolivia in the central province of Cochabamba, though the theft was not reported until 72 hours later, and the company has yet to file a criminal complaint, Romero told reporters.
The device, which is used to measure the humidity and density of the ground, concrete and asphalt, emits radiation, so that when used improperly it can be extremely dangerous.
“The corresponding alert has been directed toward everyone who can provide any information on the matter, because we’re not talking about something that can easily be used or sold,” Romero said.
He added that investigators are exploring several different theories, though they’re not yet ready to say what they are.
Nonetheless, for the minister it is “evident” that this was a robbery organized within the company’s own plant.
Sinohydro-Bolivia, a subsidiary of Chinese state construction company Sinohydro Corp, has operated in the Andean nation since 2013 on roads and energy infrastructure projects.
The firm is currently working on highways and hydroelectric projects in Cochabamba and the southern region of Chuquisaca.