Four-legged crime fighters are the latest recruits to stop drugs, illicit items and cash from being smuggled into the country.

New detector dog teams have completed their three-month training programme and begin working at the border from tomorrow.

Customs Minister Nicky Wagner said the four Labradors, Casey, Flo, Latte and Que and their handlers were put through their paces during training using tasks and exercises that simulate the airport and cargo operational environments.

Three teams would be based in Auckland and one in Christchurch.

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Paul Ferguson and Que; Kat Goddard and Casey; Hon Nicky Wagner; Daniel Evans and Flo; Kris Wetherill and Latte.
Paul Ferguson and Que; Kat Goddard and Casey; Hon Nicky Wagner; Daniel Evans and Flo; Kris Wetherill and Latte.

"These dogs passed police testing to become certified detector dogs, and will formally graduate alongside their handlers in early December at Trentham Police Collage.

"The detector dog graduation in December gives the teams a chance to celebrate and reflect on the dedication and hard work they have put into preparation for protecting our border."

More than $500,000 from the last Budget would boost the total number of detector dog teams across the country to provide an extra layer of enforcement at the border, Wagner said.

"Detector dog teams play a vital role at the border, stopping drugs, illicit items and large amounts of cash being smuggled into the country and harming to our communities."

Que inspects packages with Senior Customs Officers Paul Ferguson.
Que inspects packages with Senior Customs Officers Paul Ferguson.