Customs to buy drug-sniffing dogs
MANILA, Philippines—The Bureau of Customs will buy more specially trained dogs to help in the detection of illegal drugs entering through the country’s airports and seaports.
Customs Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Jesse Dellosa said Friday the agency’s dogs—particularly in Davao City where cocaine was found in a container van in a freight yard last weekend—could only detect shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride).
“We are looking for dogs that are capable of smelling cocaine. So far the ones that we have can only detect shabu,” Dellosa told reporters.
He recalled that during the last holiday season, the bureau began to train dogs to sniff cocaine, but the dogs were deployed to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to screen cargo.
Dellosa said the agency had to borrow three dogs from the Philippine Coast Guard to cope with the increase in passenger and cargo arrivals.
“Our long-term plan is to have our own dogs [that can detect cocaine] and we are going to have an agreement with the PCG [for the provision of] dogs. [W]e can provide handlers and the training [of the dogs],” he said.
Dellosa said the PCG, which has its own breeding kennels, had a similar arrangement with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
He said the customs bureau would see if it could deploy at least three dogs to every airport and seaport, but the priorities would be Naia, other major airports and the Manila seaports.
The dogs will be trained to detect bombs and drugs, particularly cocaine and shabu. Dellosa said.
“We still have to discuss [the final details]. We’re just exploring ideas like that, but the number of dogs we still have to discuss because it would need a budget,” he said.—Jerome Aning
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