Episode two - Parcel post / Currency dogs

In this episode of AFP an Australian Federal Police Parcel Post team has been alerted to a box of children's lollies with a deadly surprise. When a second box is detected by Customs and Border Protection officers, the stakes rise and Federal Agent Matt Murray must quickly try to uncover and disrupt the syndicate behind this operation.

Also, the AFP unveils a new weapon in the fight against crime – currency detector dogs. Dog handler Jarrod Cook takes two new dogs through the AFP's first ever currency dog detector test. Do either Labradors have what it takes to become fully operational currency dogs?

Parcel Post team

Drug importations through the post and air cargo are regularly detected by authorities. Known as 'scatter importation', it has become a preferred drug trafficking method by criminal networks operating out of the Middle East and South-East Asia.

Scatter importations are characterised by consignments of a large number of low-volume items, typically through postal and air cargo streams.

The scatter method is a gamble without the risk of trying to conceal a shipping container full of illicit drugs. Through sheer volume alone, criminals aim to flood the system so that for every package detected, another may get through the border and be sold for thousands of dollars on the street.

For the AFP's Parcel Post team, finding drugs in postal items, even if there is no prosecution, has an immediate result in keeping drugs off the streets and away from vulnerable people.

Every week members of the Parcel Post team head out to Sydney's major mail depot to retrieve drug-laden packages intercepted by Customs and Border Protection. Drug importers have tried many ways to get their illicit bounty through the mail system, with concealments found in books, toys, food, furniture, clothing and even impregnated in paper.

Read more information on drug crime

Currency and Drug Detection (CADD) Canines

Technology has become a key investigatory tool in 21st century policing, yet using the sensitive nose of a well-trained labrador as a criminal detector will always remain the most effective tool for detecting hidden drugs, money, firearms and explosives.

Man's best friend has been used by police for centuries, but refining their ability to detect particular substances and to let their handlers know about it, is increasingly helping investigations, particularly with respect to serious and organised crime.

Although the AFP has been working with detector dogs for many years, their importance to the future in policing was recognised in 2007 when a state-of-the art canine training facility was built at Majura on the outskirts of Canberra.

The National Canine Operations Centre is the AFP's key training facility designed to train and test the talents of a handler and their dog in various simulated environments such as airports, freight sheds and houses. This is where young labradors and their rookie handlers are trained to detect drugs, large sums of money, firearms and explosives buried, hidden and secreted in the most difficult to find places.

Highly-trained teams of dogs and their handlers are located at major airports all over Australia working together to protect the travelling public against acts of terrorism and other criminal activity.

Labradors are very smart, have strong play instinct essential to detecting hidden items. The dogs are very friendly which allows them to work well in crowded areas such as airport terminals.

On average it takes 11 weeks of training before the labradors are ready to go out on the 'beat'. The dogs are trained in one of two categories - either currency and drugs or firearms and explosives.

Training is rigorous and requires a high level of fitness in both handler and dog. Once the course is complete, on-the-job training begins and continues over the course of the dog's career.

Read more information on National Canine Capability

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