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Ohio Woman Charged with Illegally Transporting Radioactive Material on a Commercial Flight into the U.S.

On June 16, 2015, Chomrong Bun of Columbus, Ohio, was indicted in U.S. District Court, Atlanta, Georgia, with recklessly transporting radioactive iodine-125 in air commerce. 

The investigation revealed that on April 5, 2014, Bun arrived at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport on board a Korean Air passenger flight from Incheon, Korea.  During entry, a radiation detection device alerted to the presence of radioactivity within her luggage. An inspection of the luggage revealed the presence of radioactivity on several items, including a radioactive material and a radioactive sensor device. These items are used by gamblers in order to cheat in dice games in illegal gambling establishments. The radioactive material was later determined to be radioactive Iodine-125, a regulated radioactive material used for cancer treatments. Bun did not disclose the fact that hazardous radioactive materials were hidden in her luggage to the airline, the flight crew or Customs and Immigration agents. 

Proper packaging and shipping of hazardous materials, to include disclosure and identification, are required by Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation regulations. The radioactive hazardous materials transported by Bun were not packaged in accordance with these regulations. 

We are conducting this investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security.

Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.