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Jan 17, 2002

U.S. supplies customs with drug dog

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Today, the Belize Customs Department got “Power”, and guess what, it comes on four legs. That’s right, today the United States Ambassador to Belize, Russell Freeman handed over the first canine for the Customs Department to comptroller Omar Sabido. Power’s speciality is narcotics detection and for the past six weeks, has been bonding with his handler, senior customs examiner Angel Cocom. According to Cocom, this man’s best friend will be a drug dealer’s worst enemy.

Angel Cocom, Senior Customs Examiner

“Belize is like a transit point, so we have to be on the alert at all times, and that’s the whole idea behind this. We also quick access to the port and all those containers with cargo originating from the Southern part of our continent. There will be a better way to screen them, and more than likely if there is any in transit drugs, we will do our best to locate them.”

Janelle Chanona

“So you’re ready to start working hard? Because as a one-man team attached to the unit, you all will be putting in some long hours right?”

Angel Cocom

“Yeah. I realised that and I’ve gotten into this, so I’ll be working double time at all times, seven days of the week, twenty-fours hours of the day I will be on call. Hopefully in the near future we will be sending another officer and we will have some assistance probably before the middle of the year.”

In addition to paying for Power and his training in Guatemala, the United States government has also built his new home on the customs compound. The total cost of the donation is approximately twenty-two thousand Belize dollars.

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