A suspected smuggler caught in possession of weapons-grade plutonium had a $100 million contract from an unknown country to purchase enough material for a nuclear bomb, the German news agency DPA reported Thursday.
A parliamentary control commission was told Wednesday that German businessman Adolf Jaeckle may have been working for Iraq or North Korea.Jaeckle was arrested in May by police who confiscated 6 grams of enriched plutonium 239 on his property in the southern town of Tengen. The television station ARD said Wednesday in the news-magazine program "Panorama" that the contraband came from the Kurchatov Institute, a Moscow nuclear research laboratory.
German intellignce authorities reported Thursday they had made no further progress in tracking the origin of the 300 to 350 grams of plutonium seized at the Munich airport last week, nor had they further information on a smuggling ring believed working for Pakistan.
Following a Wednesday night police raid on offices and flats in Berlin, state Justice Ministry spokesman Frank Thiel confirmed Thursday that although no arrests were made and no plutonium discovered, police believe they have uncovered a plot to run nuclear materials to Pakistan.
The state prosecutor's office in Munich said Thursday it had no further information on three men - one Colombian and two Spaniards - arrested on suspicion of smuggling the plutonium seized at Munich airport.
"There are no clues concerning a connection with other plutonium finds (in Germany) nor that former KGB or Stasi (former East German secret police) members are the ringleaders" said State Prosecutor Dieter Emmrich.
Current findings do not suggest a political motive for the nuclear smuggling.