Malaysia sets up special task force to locate missing radioactive device

Malaysia sets up special task force to locate missing radioactive device

Malaysia police
Malaysian police patrolling the streets of Kuala Lumpur. (Photo: Reuters)

SHAH ALAM, Selangor: Malaysia said on Thursday (Aug 23) it has set up a special task force to locate a radioactive device that reportedly went missing from a pickup truck.

The 23kg device, which contains an unknown amount of radioactive iridium, went missing on a journey to Shah Alam, on the outskirts of capital city Kuala Lumpur, from the town of Seremban, about 60km away.

The special task force was set up by Selangor police and the Atomic Energy Licensing Board. It will work "round the clock" to track down the device, Selangor police chief Mazlan Mansor said on Thursday.

“So far, the police have not received any new lead on the matter. We have not received any information as to whether the equipment has been taken out of Selangor,” he told reporters.

READ: No signs 23kg radioactive device has fallen into hands of terrorists, say Malaysian police

Mazlan urged members of the public with information on the missing device to contact the police.

The Sentinel Delta 880 device, which is used in industrial radiography, was reported missing between 2am and 3am on Aug 10 when it was being taken from Seremban to Shah Alam by two technicians of a company.

READ: Singapore steps up checks at border after radioactive device goes missing in Malaysia

The United Nations atomic agency has warned that any loss or theft of radioactive material could put it in the hands of militants who might try to build a crude nuclear device or a so-called "dirty bomb". 

However, Malaysian police have said there are no signs that the device has fallen into the hands of terrorists.

Malaysia’s police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun previously said that this is not the first time such a device has gone missing.

Source: Bernama/CNA/zl(cy)