New Zealand's cash-sniffing dogs might soon be appearing at ports in China's mainland and Hong Kong as the three customs authorities look at new ways to foil drug- smuggling and money-laundering.
New Zealand Customs Minister Nicky Wagner said Wednesday that officials from the Hong Kong Customs and the General Administration of China Customs' Anti-Smuggling Bureau had been in Auckland to learn how drug detecting dogs were trained to detect cash, with the aim of starting their own similar programs.
"It's fantastic we're able to assist Hong Kong and (mainland of) China to build this special capability, as detecting undeclared or hidden cash is an increasing priority for many customs authorities as evidence shows following the money trail can lead to cracking serious organized crime such as drug smuggling," Wagner said in a statement.
"Having Hong Kong and China customs detector dogs sniff both drugs and cash will disrupt drug smuggling and money laundering by transnational syndicates, with flow-on benefits for us in New Zealand."
New Zealand shared formal agreements and close customs operational relationships with both Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, with the agencies working together to target the illicit drug trade through cross-border efforts.