April 04, 2020 16:49

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Efficiency of using sniffing dogs by Customs

10:15 | 11/02/2020

VCN- Recently, the use of sniffing dogs by the Customs sector has achieved positive results, contributing to the detection of drug cases.  

efficiency of using sniffing dogs by customs Sniffing dogs help break drug crime
efficiency of using sniffing dogs by customs The story of training sniffing dogs of Vietnamese Customs
efficiency of using sniffing dogs by customs
Using a sniffing dog to detect drugs at Cha Lo Border Gate, Quang Binh. Photo: T.A

Participating in tackling drug cases

Head of the Sniffing Dog Management and Training Unit-Unit 8 (under the Anti-smuggling and Investigation Department) Pham Van Phan said based on the experience of the Customs of other countries and Police and Border Guard Forces, since 1988, the Customs sector has used sniffing dogs. Sniffing dogs have been used in 37 customs branches of 21 local customs departments, mainly for drug prevention.

“Although sniffing dogs have been used for a long time, they did not directly detect illegal drug trafficking cases,” Phan said.

In recent times, especially 2019, after the Director General of the General Department of Vietnam Customs issued Plan 4575/KH-TCHQ on strengthening control of drug precursors, the use of sniffing dogs has achieved positive results.

On April 22, 2019, Unit 8 coordinated with the Express Customs Branch (under Ha Noi Customs Department) to use a sniffing dog to detect two packages of cocaine, weighing 28 grams in an envelope sent from aboard to a recipient at 47 Luong Ngoc Quyen, Hang Buom Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

Although the amount of detected drugs was insignificant, this was the first time a sniffing dog of the Customs sectors directly detected drugs. Recognising this achievement, customs officers participating in destroying this case were awarded Certificate of Merits by the Director General of the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

“Notably, this achievement created a spread to units using sniffing dogs in the Customs sector. Following the achievement, along with the implementation of Plan 4575, units tackled many illegal drug shipments in large quantities,” Phan said.

Sniffing dogs tackled many drug cases. Typically, on July 2, 2019, the sniffing dog of Moc Bai International Customs Branch (Tay Ninh Customs Department) detected an illegal drug shipment of 8kg of synthetic drugs sent from Cambodia to Vietnam.

On September 11, the sniffing dog of Binh Phuoc detected 16 kg ketamine and methamphetamine.

On September 20, 2019, at Lo Bao International Border Gate of Quang Tri Province, the sniffing dog of Quang Trai Customs Department detected a brown suitcase containing four white packages weighing 3.2 kg of suspected methamphetamine.

On September 23, 2019, at Lao Bao International Border Gate, the sniffing dog of Quang Tri Customs Department detected an 4.5 kg of white crystal suspected as ketamine and more than 3,000 synthetic drugs pills hidden inside a cooker and many other infringing goods.

According to Phan, the Customs’ sniffing dog plan has went in the right direction and affirmed the efficiency of sniffing dogs in drug prevention.

efficiency of using sniffing dogs by customs
The sniffing dog of Unit 8 detected drugs in April 2019.

Strengthen use of sniffing dogs during and post customs clearance

Regarding goals and orientations for the use of the sniffing dog in 2020 and the future, head of Unit 8 said that recently, the unit has summarised the use of sniffing dogs in the entire customs sector and referred domestic and international experience to take effective measures and solutions.

Units that have been assigned sniffing dogs should comply with regulations, specify tasks and enhance the responsibilities of leaders of units and sniffing dog trainers in training and using the animals.

Continue to implement domestic and international cooperation in the training and use of sniffing dogs. "Our view is self-reliant cooperation, learning under programmes on training and using sniffing dogs with countries that signed agreements and taking advantage of the cooperation of countries specialising in sniffing dog use,” Phan said.

According to Plan 4575, customs units must use customs inspection measures, including sniffing dogs, to enhance the ability to detect drugs and drug precursors during post customs clearance.

Units must develop plans and use the sniffing dog regularly associated with the actual inspection and supervision, attach responsibilities of units, leaders and sniffing dog trainer with target of seizing drugs and consider it a compulsory criterion to assess the results of the units' task completion.

By Thai Binh/Ngoc Loan