US donates sniffer dogs to Tanzania marine, airport security personnel

Special police handlers line up with their canines at the handover ceremony in Dar el-Salaam on Wednesday.

Special police handlers line up with their canines at the handover ceremony in Dar el-Salaam on Wednesday.

The US government has donated four canines to the Tanzania to re-enforce its security patrols at the port of Dar es Salaam and Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA).

The maritime and airport police dogs are trained with capabilities to detect various trafficked items that include wildlife products and illicit drugs.

U.S Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, Virginia Blaser, said on Wednesday that : “Wildlife and narcotics trafficking are serious crimes with devastating consequences to Tanzania’s natural resources, economy, and security.”

The deputy head of mission at the US embassy, Virginia Blaser, speaking at the handover ceremony

The deputy head of mission at the US embassy, Virginia Blaser, speaking at the handover ceremony

The new initiative comes at a time when the new Tanzanian government under President John Magufuli has increased efforts towards protecting wildlife and finding a solution to the rampant illicit drugs trafficking in the East African state.
The president said in Dar es Salaam last month that “I and my government we have sacrificed ourselves for the nation interests.”

The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Enrest Mangu appointed four police officers from the National Police Dog and Horse Unit who took part in specialized trainings with their canines in the United States of America.

The police and the canines were certified last year, according to the US embassy deputy head of mission.

Tanzania’s Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources, Prof Jumanne Maghembe, speaking on behalf of the government, said the new support will help in detecting culprits and subsequently fight illicit drug trafficking.

The minister said Tanzania is facing serious threats of poaching and other crimes. “This support came timely and we promise to use this expertise to confront the hardcore criminals,” he added