23 May 2012

Customs dogs kept busy

5:49 pm on 23 May 2012

Customs dogs sniffed out $17 million worth of drugs in the past year, stopping them from being smuggled into New Zealand.

In the past 12 months, the labradors have found 24kg of drugs, including ecstasy tablets, prescription medicines and cocaine.

The dogs have identified drugs on more than 100 occasions since May last year.

Their single biggest find was more than nearly 2kg of methamphetamine, worth over $1 million, in a package at the Auckland mail centre.

The Labradors are specially bred by Australian Customs to become detector dogs and then selected by New Zealand officers to work on the border.

Customs trainer Ruth Bennett says they know the smell of 12 kinds of drugs and have on-going training.

Customs currently has 11 detector drugs and explosives dogs, and more are being trained.