KEETMANSHOOP – The Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Bevan Simataa, says the government plans to acquire 25 more sniffer dogs for border control, 15 of which will arrive in January 2014.
Simataa made this revelation at the Customs and Excise Mid-term Review meeting held in Keetmanshoop this week.
According to Simataa, there is a serious need for security measures that can assist border post officials to detect unwanted substances and illegal products crossing the border.
The dogs, some of them costing up to N$20 000, will be deployed to the Noordoewer, Ariamsvlei, Oshikango, Walvis Bay harbour and Wenela border posts.
Currently the directorate has two German Shepherds bought four years ago at N$25 000 per dog.
Both dogs have been micro-chipped and tested for personality as narcotic dogs should ideally be passive in nature.
The 25 dogs will be recruited from different breeds such as German Shepherd, Border Collies and Alsatians.
Simataa explained that crooks are inclined to divert to the smaller border posts where they think they have a better chance of smuggling illegal products across the border.
Namibia has reported an increase in revenue since the installation of the 14 scanners procured from China for over N$10 billion dollars in an effort to fight cross-border crimes, protect national security, accelerate customs clearance and reduce export and import fraud.
According to recent media reports in September this year, Namibia has recorded an increase in revenue from N$790 million in 2010/2011 and N$1.2 billion in 2012/2013 in the form of Value Added Tax (VAT) and customs excise duties.
By Jemima Beukes