Kenya has acquired three narcotic and explosive busting sniffer-dogs to beef up checks at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Moi International Airport ahead of New York-Nairobi direct flights.
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Enforcement Manager Kamau Ng’ang’a said the three join a fourth German Shepherd donated by America to be manned by 10 specially trained handlers.
“We are ready and set for the US-Kenya direct flights and this has seen us re-align our strategies to ensure all parcels and carrier bags are checked for prohibited drugs or explosives. We have also acquired new scanners from China that supplement the work of the dogs,” he said.
Kenya is a transit point for drugs bound from places like Afghanistan and the US.
“Our main role is to assess, collect and receive payments but must also ensure illegal substances are not passed through Kenya to other markets. We are glad Kenya now has dog-training schools that will supplement foreign dog-training for enhanced results,” Mr Ng’ang’a said.
Kenya has received the final nod to start direct Kenya-US flights which will open a new avenue for the movement of goods and passengers thereby helping shore up revenue for both countries.
Main exports from Kenya to the US include clothing which earned Sh37 billion last year.
Flower exporters expect higher revenue from sales to the US with Kenyan traders enjoying lower import charges due to the shorter route.
The dogs' unit was established in January 2005 and has helped nab consignments of heroin, cocaine and bhang as well as other harmful chemicals conceiled in carrier bags and parcels.
Mr Ng’ang’a said the dogs would help fast-track inspection thereby supplementing the physical and scanning checks at the international airports.
The handlers were trained locally with some undertaking specialised training in Japan.