Sniffing out trouble

11 August 2021 | Crime

Four highly-trained dogs arrived at the Hosea Kutako International Airport from the Netherlands on Sunday, with the sole purpose of combating wildlife crime in Namibia.
Old Mutual invested N$268 000 to procure three of the four dogs from a highly specialised Dutch K9 Training Centre in the Netherlands.
The three German Shepherds and one Belgian Malinois named Caga, Britta, Vanda and Devil will be sent to the Waterberg Law Enforcement Training Centre with their respective handlers for the next five to six months to complete their local training after which they will be deployed to the north-east of the country. These canines are specially raised and put through a series of tests to develop and identify their natural skills and abilities to serve as detection dogs.
Old Mutual’s Mauriza Fredericks expressed her gratitude to the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) for their diligence in protecting our wildlife saying that Old Mutual will continue taking the lead in things that matter most. “We care for our communities and our natural resources; we therefore deem this partnership with the ministry as an investment in the preservation of our natural resources for another 100 years to come,” she said.
MEFT’s Deputy Executive Director Colgar Sikopo said that the procurement process dates back to 2017 when Old Mutual pledged the money to acquire the dogs from the Dutch K9 Centre in the Netherlands. Upon arrival, Old Mutual contributed another N$50 000 for additional supplies for the K9 Unit.
“The dogs that are currently in action, have successfully brought down the rate of wildlife crime since their introduction of five detection dogs to the K9 Unit in 2019,” Sikopo said. “The dogs have already been involved in 240 successful cases where they have detected weapons in the cars. We have certainly seen the impact of having detection dogs in the unit.”