Police deploy canines at KIA to detect drugs in cargo

Police deploy canines at KIA to detect drugs in cargo

The city police have deployed a canine squad to sniff parcels and passenger baggage at the Kempegowda International Airport for drugs.

The move comes after drug cases in the city saw a 200% increase and the looming suspicion that much of the contraband substances are couriered in cargo from foreign countries.

DCP (North-East) Bheemashankar S Guled told DH that the squad has been in duty for the past 10 days. “We thought we’ll (deploy the squad) as we noticed a missing link during our investigations,” he said. “We’ve deployed two sniffer dogs at the cargo (area) and to check passenger baggage.” 

Since the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) in-charge of KIA security did not have sniffer dogs to spot the presence of drugs, the police had written to them to hire them, the DCP added.

Guled said the police decided to deploy the canines after city policemen probed two international drug cases. The accused in one of the cases was importing and exporting hydro ganja, a highly processed variety of marijuana that he had procured from a Canadian drug cartel.

The accused concealed the drugs beneath layers of chocolates and jelly candy. The drug was packed in baby milk containers using Amazon wrapping paper and delivered through a courier company.

In another case, the police arrested three people who imported hydro ganja seeds and other narcotic drugs from the Netherlands and cultivated them in pots using LED lights in an apartment in Kengeri. “We started the initiative (to deploy canines) as a preventive measure,” a policeman said.

With spiraling cases and growing consumption, the state police launched a drive against narcotic drugs. While the police booked 354 drug cases in 2017, it slightly dipped to 286 in 2018, but alarmingly increased to 711 until December 10 this year.

Mangaluru follows Bengaluru with 230 NDPS cases and Udupi is in the third position with 202 this year. In all, the state registered 537 additional cases this year — the total cases being 1,569 — while it had only 1,032 last year.

A senior police official from the canine squad said German Shepherds are used to detect drugs and bombs.

“Right now, we have 15 German Shepherds in the canine squad. This apart, there are 30 Labrador Retrievers used for sniffing duties and 15 Doberman Pinschers for crime detection,” he said.

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