Playing cards marked with radioactive iodine — Berlin police arrest woman | News | DW | 28.11.2017
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Playing cards marked with radioactive iodine — Berlin police arrest woman

German police have arrested a 41-year-old woman on suspicion of rigging card games by dousing specific cards with iodine-125. The cards could then be recognized by a gambler carrying a concealed detector.

German police on Tuesday revealed that they had raided a Berlin restaurant after a trail of radioactive card fragments found at a waste treatment plant was traced back to the premises.

It was there that authorities uncovered and confiscated 13 other cards with traces of the radioactive substance iodine-125, a nuclide commonly used in medicine. A club center, karaoke bar, some offices and an apartment were searched.

Read more:  German city of Aachen offers iodine tablets amid nuclear fears

According to the police, the woman was involved in a scheme to rig card games. One of the players would carry a detector under their clothing enabling them to identify certain cards. Police said they were investigating how much the fraudsters might have netted.

Reports suggest that the raided restaurant did not have a gambling license.

The 41-year-old suspect from Berlin's Marzahn-Hellersdorf district remains under investigation, and could face a fine and up to five years in prison.

Authorities played down the risk of any damaging health effects to those who came in contact with the cards. Even from half a meter away, the dose of radiation on the card could no longer be detected.

However, two local Berlin government agencies said that they had taken precautions by shutting the restaurant and contracting a specialist renovation company to have it cleaned.

dm/msh (AP, AFP)

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