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Detector dogs heading to Fiji

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/06/2017

Another tool in the fight against Fiji being used as a transit point for the illegal drugs trade got their stripes on Friday - six detector dogs.

Part of a nine-strong group of dogs and their handlers finishing the course at the Royal New Zealand Police College Dog Training Centre in Trentham, Upper Hutt, the six are part of the New Zealand Customs and Police Fiji Detector Dog Project.

It means there are now eight detector dog teams in Fiji, which is often used as a transit point for drugs, cash and firearms.

The project began two years ago and is administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The dogs for New Zealand and Fiji were sourced from the Australian Border Force's renowned detector dog breeding programme before being trained in Trentham.

The national co-ordinator for police dogs, Inspector Todd Southall, says the Fiji project is something New Zealand Police is particularly proud of.

"Police recognise the continuing and strengthened relationship between police and Customs in both New Zealand and Fiji," he said.

"The Fiji detector dog program has a focus on long-term capability and border security, and we are very pleased with the results so far."

The three new dogs for this country are to be deployed in Wellington and Auckland and boosts New Zealand Customs' detector dog teams to 14 across those two centres and Christchurch.

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