Officer lauded for detecting potential bomb

Aetos security officer Rajaletchumi Letchumanan was one of three officers who was awarded the Security Officer of the Year award yesterday.
Aetos security officer Rajaletchumi Letchumanan was one of three officers who was awarded the Security Officer of the Year award yesterday.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF MANPOWER

As the nondescript parcel made its way through the X-ray scanner at a logistics centre near Changi Airport, security officer Rajaletchumi Letchumanan identified on her screen a few familiar components resembling parts of an improvised explosive device (IED).

During the incident last October, the 33-year-old Aetos security officer, who had never discovered an IED in her nine years of experience, calmly followed security protocols and alerted the authorities who later arrived at the scene.

Ms Rajaletchumi yesterday received the Security Officer of the Year award, which is given out by the Security Association Singapore.

Recalling the incident, she told The Straits Times: "I was really scared actually. At the time, I was the only one manning the X-ray scanner."

The Malaysian, who joined the private security industry when she came to Singapore to work in 2010, was relieved when the authorities found that the IED was not a live bomb, but a training kit meant to be sent to the United States.

However, the parcel did not have the proper documents and clearance needed for it to be shipped overseas.

Ms Rajaletchumi was praised by the Criminal Investigation Department, who said that she "displayed and discharged her duties with exemplary diligence and professionalism".

Certis Cisco aviation security officer Loi Chia Yuan and Mr Ram Nitesh Tiwary from Interlock Security and Investigation Services also received the Security Officer of the Year Award yesterday. Another 166 security officers were also commended for their work.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2019, with the headline 'Officer lauded for detecting potential bomb'. Subscribe