Monday, February 17

Search for missing Franco-Irish teen boosted by VAT 69 Commandos


Members of the elite VAT 69 team photographed during an anti-terrorism demonstration in 2017. File Photo

NILAI: The search and rescue (SAR) operation to locate 15-year-old Franco-Irish teenager Nora Anne Quoirin has been boosted with the deployment of the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) elite team, VAT 69 Commandos.

State deputy police chief SAC Che Zakaria Othman said that two officers and 21 members of the team had reported for duty today.

“We will use what ever human resource that we have. VAT (Very Able Trooper) 69 is an elite force that has the expertise and skills to assist us in this operation,” he told a press conference at the Pantai Police Station, Seremban on the search for the teenager, today.

In addition, three personnel from the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) Cheras, Kuala Lumpur also assisted in the operation today, bringing the total number of personnel involved in the operation to 261 compared to 252 yesterday.

The SAR operation to locate 15-year-old who went missing from The Dusun Resort on Sunday entered the sixth day today.

Che Zakaria said the operation would continue tonight focusing on the use of nine drones belonging to the police and private parties equipped with thermal imaging cameras.

Besides police, personnel from various agencies including the General Operations Force (GOF) 4th Semenyih Battalion and Senoi Praaq unit from GOF 3rd Battalion, State Fire and Rescue Department, Malaysian Civil Defence Force (CDF), Malaysian Volunteers Corps Department (MVCD) and state Forestry Department were involved in the operation.

Asked if the weather change would impact the SAR, Che Zakaria said all personnel were prepared to face any possibility including weather change.

Nora Anne was reported missing after arriving at the resort with her parents from London on Saturday for a two-week vacation at a resort here. The teenager was discovered missing from her room at 8 am on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Che Zakaria said there were no strong leads so far in the effort to locate Nora Anne, dismissing the claims that the teenager’s footprints had been found as reported by the media.

“To date, police have not detected the exact spot from where Nora Anne had gone missing. Nevertheless, we are still conducting rechecks in the areas we have inspected prior to this covering a radius of six kilometres from the resort,” he added.

He said that the scope of the investigation also encompassed the communication aspects including resort calls and e-mail logs.

To a question whether the resort room window from which Nora Anne, a special needs teenager, was believed to have climbed out, could be opened from outside or vice versa, Che Zakaria said it could be opened from the outside if it was not locked.

“So far, the case is still classified as a missing person case and the Crime Investigation Department  have been involved since the first day of operation and upgraded daily including co-operation with Interpol,” he said.

Che Zakaria pointed out that a police officer were also stationed with the teenager’s family at the resort to facilitate communication with the authorities. – Bernama