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Cops gets canine power in synthetic drug fight

While the dog squad is extensively used in drug cases, till now, they were trained only to identify traditional drugs such as ganja and charas.
Last Updated : 23 June 2024, 20:59 IST

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Bengaluru: Bengaluru Police have trained five dogs from their ace canine squad to sniff out synthetic drugs, a move that is already bearing fruit in the fight against party-goers' narcotics of choice. 

While the dog squad is extensively used in drug cases, till now, they were trained only to identify traditional drugs such as ganja and charas. Now, with the new training, dogs can sniff out nearly 10 types of synthetic drugs, including methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and ecstasy pills. 

“Traditional drugs have become redundant. Now, many party-goers extensively use synthetic drugs. Hence, we experimented on training our dogs to sniff out synthetic drugs and it is bearing fruits,” Raman Gupta, Additional Commissioner of Police (East), told DH. He was instrumental in taking up the initiative to trains dogs for sniffing out synthetic drugs. 

The dogs exhibited their skills recently when the Bengaluru Police raided a rave party organised in Electronics City, where at least 86 individuals tested positive for drugs. 

“At the rave party recently, we were able to seize live drugs, which has not been possible in the recent past. Our experiment with the dogs showed success since it was these newly trained dogs that sniffed the drugs out,” Gupta added. 

The training 

The training team, which trained all the five dogs of the narcotic canine squad, plans to to equip all the new dogs that join the squad to identify synthetic drugs right from the beginning.

Explaining the training process, Manjunath G D, dog squad inspector, said the dogs were trained extensively for three months. 

“Since these dogs were already trained for traditional drugs, we had to retrain them for three months. The handlers held practice sessions every day with the samples of synthetic drugs. After three months, the dogs were able to sniff out the drugs,” Manjunath said. 

Of the five dogs, four are German Shepard and one of them is a Belgian Malinois. The handlers trained the dogs using various search methods. 

“First, we make sure the dogs catch the smell," explained Vijayendra Babu, instructor to the dog handlers. "Then, we train them for five types of searches: luggage/bag search, human search, ground search, vehicle search, and building search. In every type, we hide drugs and take the dogs around to identify them. After such intensive training, they can sniff out the drugs from any place.” 

While a few dogs wag their tail when they find drugs, others start barking, biting, or scratching the surface. 

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Published 23 June 2024, 20:59 IST

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