Police dogs deployed for mission in Laos

Home Affairs permanent secretary Pang Kin Keong (centre) with the SPF officers and K9 dogs.
Home Affairs permanent secretary Pang Kin Keong (centre) with the SPF officers and K9 dogs.PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

In a first, three dogs from the Singapore Police Force K-9 Unit have been deployed on an overseas mission to help in disaster relief efforts in Laos.

The three victim-recovery dogs left Paya Lebar Airbase with a 32-member Home Team contingent yesterday.

The team comprises 14 police officers and 18 Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers, said the agencies in a joint statement.

They left on a Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130 transport aircraft and arrived in Attapeu province in Laos yesterday.

The province was devastated after the partially built Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower dam collapsed on July 23, causing severe floods in the area.

At least 27 people died, with hundreds more missing and another 6,600 people displaced.

Led by Superintendent Mohamad Sofian Salleh, the police will offer assistance in victim recovery efforts, together with the K-9 dogs.

This is the first time that police K-9 dogs are being deployed for an overseas mission, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the SCDF officers will be led by Captain Kannan Selvaraj.

The officers will replace the current 17-member SCDF team which has been carrying out disaster relief efforts in the Attapeu province since Aug 4.

SCDF said in a Facebook post yesterday evening that 14 of the 17 members of the contingent have returned to Singapore.

The other members will remain in Laos for several more days to hand over operations to the incoming contingent, SCDF added.

Ng Huiwen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2018, with the headline 'Police dogs deployed for mission in Laos'. Print Edition | Subscribe