CHANDIGARH: Customs Department has set up a facility on the Attari border to train canines in detecting drugs, explosives, counterfeit currency, tobacco and other banned items. The first such in the country to be opened and christened ‘K-9,’ it would train 286 canines to be deployed across 200 Customs centres across the country.
As of now, the Customs has just 17 trained sniffer dogs. Currently 11 sniffer dogs are being trained at the centre set up at the `1 crore facility, which can train 20 in one go. Officials said it takes 8 months to train a to fully train a canine. “This is a first-of-its-kind project in India for Customs and the trained breeds would include Labrador, Cocker Spaniel and German Shepherd.
This centre will train the dogs according to our requirements as we deploy dogs mostly in air-conditioned buildings such as airports, while the Army, BSF and police train them for rough terrain,” an official said.
More such training centres are in the offing across India. John Joseph of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, who is in charge of the centre, said the sniffers will be trained to meet newer and sophisticated challenges to ensure all round security.