The problem of drug-smuggling into West Berlin has long disturbed local customs and police, who tried several methods of detection before hitting upon one which appears to be proving almost foolproof; they have trained Alsatian dogs to sniff-out hashish and other drugs from luggage and clothing of people travelling across the borders.
SV Handler with Rolf dog trained to search for drugs (4 shots)
LV Bus leaving checkpoint
LV People passing through checkpoint (2 shots)
SV Dog searching bus
SV Dog searching through baggage
LV Bus leaving
CU Sign at border
LV Bus leaving
LV INT Police HQ. policemen being briefed for raid (2 shots)
LV Police entering club
SV Suspects rounded up
SV Police searching suspects (2 shots)
SV Suspects with hands on wall and police searching
CU Police examining contents of bag
SV Suspects turn out pockets for searching (2 shots)
SV Suspects led away and into truck (2 shots)
LV Police with dogs searching in club (2 shots)
CU Dag and handler finding hashish in clothes
LV Police truck driving away
SV Suspects lined up at headquarters
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Background: The problem of drug-smuggling into West Berlin has long disturbed local customs and police, who tried several methods of detection before hitting upon one which appears to be proving almost foolproof; they have trained Alsatian dogs to sniff-out hashish and other drugs from luggage and clothing of people travelling across the borders. Such has been their success, that the Customs Canine Department sometimes lends out its dogs to other police departments for the search of drugs in such places as nightclubs.
Several dogs are being trained-but two, Rolf and Axel, are now experienced "hash sniffers" and Rolf demonstrated his technique at Checkpoint Waltersdorfer Chaussee where the buses from East Berlin's Schoenefeld Airport cross into the Western district. It is here that police have long suspected the drugs to be entering-flying in from Damascus or Beirut and then by road. To Date, Customs inspection at these checkpoints have been cursory-but, even with only such random checks, more than 150 kilogrammes (300 pounds) have been discovered in the last months. Now, since the advent of the canine detectives, this flow has almost totally stopped-as they have been known to sniff out drugs even sown into plastic bags.
On the evening of Friday (May 29, the dogs were recruited byu the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) narcotics squad to take part in a raid on a nightclub in the heart of the city-where it had been reported that drugs were being used and sold. Over 150 uniformed and plain-clothes police were involved in the raid, during which nearly two hundred people were detained and searched by police on judge's orders after hashish, syringes, needles and other drug-taking paraphernalia were found.
Even after the suspects had been led away and put into police vans for transportation to police headquarters-the dogs continued their search alongside police and found additional hashish hidden in clothing which had been left on the premises.
West Berlin authorities hope that their canine drug patrols will not only find the illegal stocks-but will also deter smugglers from bringing in further supplies.