MOSCOW, February 19 (RIA Novosti) – Police in the Chelyabinsk Region have confiscated an unidentified substance from a local man who was trying to sell it as a “meteorite fragment,” regional police told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
Spokeswoman Anzhelika Chirkova said police had identified “a Chelyabinsk Region resident, born 1984, who was trying to sell about 60 grams of a substance via the internet as a meteorite fragment.”
The substance has been sent for testing to determine its composition and any possible health risks it could pose, Chirkova said.
Scientists said over the weekend that they had recovered fragments of the meteorite – which struck central Russia last Friday, causing widespread damage and hurting over a thousand people – from a lake in the Chelyabinsk Region.
Law enforcement authorities have not officially confirmed the find, but police said Monday that people were trying to sell something billed as “meteorite fragments” online for 10,000 to 500,000 rubles (about $330 to $16,600).
Chirkova, the police spokeswoman, called on people not to buy the so-called fragments, as their composition and origin is unknown and they are being sold without any permits or certification.