A drug-detector dog for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) sniffed out a well-concealed cache of suspected hashish, about 1.3 tons of it, at the Port of Montréal, according to a Dec. 24 news release from the CBSA.
A total of 3,046 packets had been carefully hidden inside laminated floor pieces and handcrafted wooden furniture shipped in a marine container from Malawi. But the 7-year-old black Labrador Retriever, named River, trained to sniff out drugs and firearms, somehow managed to catch the scent.
After River alerted officials, border services officers followed up with X-ray exams that revealed the hidden packets.
"I must specify that the drugs were very well-hidden within the laminated wood pieces," CBSA spokeswoman Dominique McNeely told CBC News.
According to CBSA, its officers made more than 2,700 drug seizures in 2015.
"This seizure demonstrates how the CBSA plays a leading role in the prevention of crime in Canada," said Pierre Provost, Acting Regional Director General, CBSA, Quebec Region,in a press statement. "I am very proud of our officers' work. This plot to import illicit goods was uncovered thanks to our officers' expertise."
Canada Customs has a 37-year history of using detector dogs for drugs and firearms. In 2003, they added currency detection to the repertoire for their canine sniffers. Two years later, food, plant and animal detector dog teams from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency started working for CBSA. Labrador Retrievers are the breed of choice for drugs, firearms, and currency, and Beagles are used to sniff out food, plants, and animals.
[Canadian Detector Dog Beagle]
Only one out of every 10 candidates evaluated makes it into the Detector Dog Service. The dogs live with their handlers and work for about 10 years. Once they retire, they will either live with their handlers or in a home chosen by their handlers.
In this short video, DDS Beagle Buddy demonstrates how he helps sniff out contraband.
Top Photo Courtesy CBSA.