Dog unit K9 adds more teeth to Delhi Customs’ drug detection efforts

The dog unit K9 of Delhi Customs is adding more strength to the surveillance at the airport to detect drug smuggling, the latest example of which is a female labrador member, Jancy who helped the officials seize drugs from an Indian passenger coming from Kenya.

According to the officials, Jancy, who is two-year-old, on Saturday stopped near a passenger at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi which gave the officials an indication of the presence of a suspicious object.

“She immediately went down to business, putting her paw on the man’s luggage. Immediately the Customs inspector requested the passenger, an Indian national who was coming from Nairobi, to come aside for detailed frisking and purportedly seized approx 3 kg Heroin valued at Rs 21 crore from the bag,” the officials said.

Similar to Jancy, 11 other sniffer dogs have become a force multiplier for the Customs Department after its K9 squad was re-established in 2019.

“Besides drugs worth Rs 200 crore, they will be trained to detect currency notes, tobacco, wildlife, red sandalwood and other prohibited items,” they said.

The non-aggressive nature of the Cocker Spaniel and Labrador breeds of the squad members makes them excellent non-intrusive inspection tools at Delhi airport and Inland Container Depot in Tughlakabad and Patparganj in the national capital mail King Customs Departments job easier

All members of the K-9 squad are well taken care of by their handlers.

“After completing their duty, they rest in the Air Conditioned kennels near Delhi airport where they are kept under strict supervision. Veterinary doctors suggest the meals and do regular check-ups to keep the K9 force active and agile,” the officials said.

Chief Commissioner Delhi Customs Zone Aruna Narayan Gupta said that the role played by Customs Detector Dogs (K9) in Department’s anti-narcotic efforts has encouraged Delhi customs zone to induct K-9 units in Dry ports including Tughlakabad and Patparganj.

In February 2020, the first K9 training centre was inaugurated in Attari, Amritsar where dogs have been trained and deployed at various Customs ports across the country.

Dr Anees Cherkunnath, Joint Commissioner, ICD Tughlakabad Export of Delhi Customs said that at present, training is being imparted in the detection of various illegal drugs.

“Training in tobacco products, wildlife articles and currency detections is also envisaged in the future batches. The first batch of 11 K9 units and the second batch of five K9 units completed their training in September 2020 and December 2021 respectively,” he said.

He added that a proposal has been submitted to the Board to strengthen the Customs K9 establishment by recruiting 242 dogs, 242 dog handlers, and 80 Sub-Inspectors in a phased manner.

At present K9 units are deployed in New Delhi, Amritsar, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmadabad, Cochin, Trivandrum, Pune, Mumbai (Export), Trichy and Chennai.

The Directorate of Logistics (Customs) is in the process of establishing the second Customs K9 training and breeding centre in South India. (ANI)

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