Rare and ultra-high purity (UHP) gases specialist CHROMIUM Ltd has urged industry stakeholders to watch out for the attempted sale, smuggling or otherwise illegal use of suspect rare gases, primarily xenon, after the company was subject to a robbery at its site in the Vladimir Region of Russia last year.

CHROMIUM Ltd. was founded in 1991 and specialises in the production and sale of rare inert gases and gas mixtures of ultra-high purity (99.99999%) and above.

The company told gasworld that its production site in Russia’s Vladimir Region (Murom District) was subject to a coordinated robbery on the night of 27th September 2019 to 28th September 2019 which included surveillance cameras being destroyed, storage devices stolen, and a special storage of the rare inert gas xenon being hacked.

As much as 8,260kg of high purity xenon, largely in aluminium cylinder supply, was reportedly stolen, as well as other incidentals such as technical, operational and accounting documentation. The actual volume of the stolen gas contained around 1,260kg of xenon, belonging to State Corporation ROSCOSMOS and the companies VNIIEM Corporation JC, JSC EDB Fakel and ISS-Reshetnev Company, held in safe custody at the CHROMIUM Ltd facility. 

A criminal case number (No.11901170046091042) was officially opened, which is under investigationby the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) in the Vladimir region.

In fact, the leadership of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB), the Committee of the State Duma on Defense, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, the Prosecutor’s General Office of the Russian Federation, and the Federal Customs Service of Russian Federation have been officially notified of this crime.

But CHROMIUM, which has now fully restored its operations, is urging caution about any fraudulent product in the market, as well as appealing for anyone with information to notify the Embassy or Consulate General or Trade Mission of Russian Federation in their country.