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Background Story on Uranium Smuggling in Moldova
September 25, 2019
In 2014-2015, news outlets around the world reported headlines such as “Nuclear smuggling deals ‘thwarted’ in Moldova” as the media highlighted the investigation and arrest of suspected uranium smugglers. These news reports covered the international coordination of the criminal investigations of the nuclear smuggling efforts, the nuclear materials involved in the cases, and motivations of the smugglers.
As part of the ORNL Nonproliferation Seminar Series, staff scientist Bill Petoskey will present a behind-the-scenes perspective of this uranium smuggling incident in Moldova. As the assistant legal attaché for matters related to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Tbilisi, Georgia, at the time, Bill gained a unique perspective as someone directly involved in the case. His presentation will cover the radiological smuggling investigation and lessons learned as a result of the subsequent 2014 arrest of seven subjects by personnel from the Economic Crimes Section, General Police Inspectorate, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Republic of Moldova.
About the Speaker
Bill Petoskey joined ORNL this year as a staff scientist in the ORNL Nuclear Nonproliferation Division, following his retirement as a special agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. During his 23-year career with the FBI, he successfully investigated all major programs including WMD, International and Domestic Terrorism, Tech Fraud, and Crimes Against Children. His leadership experience includes roles as a supervisory special agent of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Operations Unit at FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC. During the 2014 smuggling investigation, he worked at the US Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, as the assistant legal attaché for WMD matters. During this two-year assignment, he traveled throughout out Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East in support of WMD investigations and program development.