Delhi airport customs get trained Labradors to fight drug smuggling

  • Faizan Haidar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 08, 2016 08:00 IST
A CISF sniffer dog checks passengers’ luggage at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. (Arvind Yadav/ HT Photo)

In addition to the continuing crackdown on gold smugglers, the customs at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) are also now focussing on smuggling of chemicals used to manufacture party drugs. Since, most of staff is posted at the arrival hall to check smuggling of gold, customs are relying on dogs to nab drugs smugglers.

Recently, three Labradors of Customs department were trained in the academy of Border Security Force (BSF) and they will be used to sniff drugs and other suspicious chemicals. “Gold is usually smuggled into the country and our focus is at the arrival hall to stop gold smugglers. We have got dogs now to ensure that drugs smugglers must not allowed to sneak away taking advantage of our vigil on gold smugglers,” said a customs official.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which also has its dog squad, focus largely on security aspect. After getting its Labradors trained, the customs may go for small dogs as it can easily sneak into small openings.

According to experts, while Labradors have an excellent track record as sniffers, small size of cocker spaniels makes the breed ideal choice for large areas.

“We often carry out random checks and have detected 70 cases of currency smuggling and over a dozen cases of drug smuggling. Apart from profiling, we rely on human intelligence,” the official added.

In August this year, customs had nabbed a person for smuggling currency worth R 18 lakh. According to customs, the money was to be sued to purchase gold in the Gulf and then to be smuggled back to Delhi. People from several small cities are roped in by these smugglers and trained as carriers to avoid detection. Customs said that they have also increased the vigil at the departure terminal as smugglers were using it to their benefit.

“We will also provide an advanced drug testing kit to the dog squad so that illegal drugs can be stopped immediately. There have been cases where dogs have helped us check unattended baggage. We are sure it will help is in curbing drugs smuggling at the departure hall of Terminal 3,” the official said.

The customs officials have busted several smuggling rackets involved in smuggling gold into India from Delhi airport. Most of the culprits were found to be bringing in the precious metals from the Gulf countries. The smugglers use innovative ways to hide gold from the eyes of customs.

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