AIRPORT SECURITY GONE TO THE DOGS; DRUGS 1 TD Calls for Tougher Action to Help Sniff out Drugs at Knock

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Byline: By DECLAN FERRY

DRUGS worth millions of euro could be smuggled through an airport because sniffer dogs are rarely used, it was claimed yesterday.

Mayo TD Dr Jerry Cowley wants to see 24-hour inspections at Knock Airport, Co Mayo, to cut off the drug trade supply line.

He said it is outrageous the dogs are only used sporadically and believes the airport is a gateway which could be exploited by crafty drug traffickers.

And he warned it could be targeted in the same way as Weston Airport when an international drug ring tried to smuggle EUR10million worth of heroin from Belgium.

Dr Cowley added: "Sniffer dogs, I think, are a very good and easy way of carrying out spot checks.

"Especially if drugs are being carried in bags, the dog can find them. I don't see why it shouldn't be an everyday thing in Knock Airport instead of once in a blue moon when they Customs decide to be there.

"I don't think sniffer dogs are there very often at all, it's only on a very rare occasion.

"I just wanted to make sure the right precautions were in place.

"We have an awful problem all over Ireland with drugs.

"And of course if we cut off the supply that will make all the difference. …