Sniffer dogs on their way for border posts

12 Dec 2013 15:00pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 12 DEC (NAMPA) - The Directorate of Customs and Excise in the Ministry of Finance is in the process of buying 25 sniffer dogs to be placed at entry and exit points across Namibia early next year.
The dogs set to be acquired are German shepherds, Buddys, Bellas, Candys and Jaspers, and will be deployed at the Noordoewer, Ariamsvlei, Oshikango, Walvis Bay harbour and Wenela border posts.
This was announced by the Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Bevan Simataa, during a five-day mid-term review meeting in Keetmanshoop on Thursday.
The 25 dogs will be brought in from neighbouring South Africa during January 2014 for training with their handlers, before being deployed to the borders around February 2014.
Simataa said the dogs will be used in the detection of drugs and counterfeit money, amongst other illicit goods.
This will be of much help for border posts which do not have scanners yet, such as Ariamsvlei.
“We know that with scanners at some borders, there will be a diversion by criminals to entry points without scanners. Therefore, we need to use the dogs to detect illicit goods,” he explained.
The Commissioner further stated that the canines will cost Government about N.dollars 20 000 each.
Speaking at the same event, //Karas Regional Governor Bernardus Swartbooi suggested that Government institutions’ performance reviews be opened to the public and private sectors for scrutiny.
If such reviews are open to the public to provide input and criticism, then officials are encouraged to work hard, he felt.
“Reviewing and reporting to yourselves does not help that much. Therefore, I suggest that in the future, we open-up reviews of this nature to the public so that they can also give their input,” the governor advised.
Swartbooi also emphasised that there is a serious need to support young people in the country to establish successful businesses of their own, and ultimately for employment-creation and the strengthening of the economy.
The mid-term review for Customs and Excise officials started on Monday, and ends on Friday.
It is being attended by more than 20 officials from all 14 regions.
It aims to review the directorate’s current financial year, especially whether it achieved its goals in terms of revenue-collection and trade facilitation in Namibia as well as globally.
The meeting will also look at challenges, and try to find ways to address such challenges before the end of this financial year.