Border canines reveal dogged determination

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Dogs used to counter smuggling and the movement of drug money sniffed out nearly £10m in the last year.

The money, which was detected by dogs stationed around the UK’s airports and ports, was seized by border officials in the last financial year.

The animals working for the UK Border Agency (UKBA) managed to pick up on the scent of £9.9m of hidden cash.

Of the detector dogs used by the border force, 19 are specially-trained currency detector dogs which routinely check passengers and cargo and sniff out suspicious quantities of bank notes.

One labrador retriever – Buster – has already discovered tens of thousands of pounds and is only early in his career.

Within minutes of being deployed at Gatwick Airport, the two-year-old dog pointed his handler towards a woman who was found to have £8,000 in her hand luggage as she boarded a flight to Vietnam.

His handler Gavin Edwards, who affectionately calls him Buster Crimes, said: “Buster screens the passengers by sniffing their bags. If he finds a scent of money, he sits and indicates to me.

“We ask the passengers how much money they are carrying, depending on what they say, that person is then investigated by another officer.”

Like other cash detector dogs, Buster has been loaned out to other agencies and while working on a house raid with HM Revenue and Customs, he discovered £34,000 hidden around the property of a person being investigated for tax fraud.