With Hyderabad slowly gaining notoriety for smuggling of gold, counterfeit and foreign currency, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Hyderabad zone, in coordination with the Customs department, has decided to add canine power to its force to detect contraband at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Shamshabad.

The DRI officials maintained that the city has become a favourite destination for smugglers.

“In view of increasing number of detections in the airport it has been decided to press sniffer dogs into service,” an official said. Currently, the Customs authorities have five sniffer dogs in Mumbai and two in New Delhi airports.

“We have written to the Union government to provide sniffer dogs for Hyderabad airport too,” the official said, adding that once they get the approval, the Customs Department would purchase the canines and send them for training at the Border Security Force’s National Training Centre for Dogs in Tekanpur in Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh.

M.K. Singh, Additional Director General of DRI Hyderabad zone said that sniffers dogs are best suited to detect contraband. At present, the Central Industrial Security Force at RGIA has sniffer dogs.

Speaking to the media here on Tuesday, he said that the conviction rate for accused arrested in smuggling cases is 100%, while only 60% of the suspects nabbed in narcotic cases were convicted as, many a time, the officials fail to provide evidence on technical grounds.

Mr. Singh said that DRI Hyderabad is one of the top performing units of 12 DRI zones in the country.

“Compared to previous years, narcotics cases are high in the zone and gold smuggling cases on quantity per passenger had declined,” he said.

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