China Remains a Proliferation Concern in the Indian Subcontinent

Credit by idsa.in (Reshmi Kazi)

Recently, a mineral smuggling operation involving export of several tonnes of beryl — an atomic mineral ore of beryllium — reportedly to China, was jointly thwarted by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Rajasthan Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in Kanakpura, Rajasthan. By the end of January this year, Rajasthan ATS had reportedly arrested six men. This incident highlighted two important issues.

First, that an illicit racket involved in smuggling of valuable minerals like berylllium with atomic applications is flourishing in the region. The prime beneficiary of this racket is reportedly China and it could possibly involve Pakistan too, given the history of clandestine nuclear trade between the two “all weather friends”.

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