A dog tears his 1,100 euros in notes, then he is reimbursed by the bank.

Her eight-month-old dog grabbed an envelope containing 2,000 euros worth of banknotes, which had been hidden on a sideboard behind a frame.

Blame his dog. Sally, an 8-month-old golden retriever, sniffed out the good news and took care of the notes. I was very surprised to find the envelope and the notes shredded and scattered on the dog’s cushion, says Grégoire.

Of the 2,000 euros, more than 1,100 euros went up in smoke. Obviously not angry with his dog (it is true that he could have put the envelope in a drawer), the man first thought of reconstituting the tickets. It was a real puzzle. I spent the evening there. Some were more or less complete and others more damaged, he says.

Two meetings in Brussels

Either way, he could never have used the tickets afterwards. No car then? Grégory has not given up, says RTL Info. By contacting his bank, he learned that he could contact the National Bank of Belgium (BNB).

The problem is that the only counter is in the capital, and if his bank had been able to take care of the procedure, it would have taken much longer. The man will therefore take a day off and go to Brussels in the hope of finding his money.

According to RTL Info, although the BNB is the only organization that can exchange money immediately, certain conditions must be met: an involuntary deterioration of the ticket, but also the fact that 50% of the ticket exists, otherwise its owner could swap twice. Unfortunately, as he had taped them, the BNB had to carry out a thorough check of at least ten days.

sniffer dog

Since no transfer was possible, Grégoire had to return to Brussels a second time to collect his money. Two expensive round trips, but worth it given the amount of money involved. The National Bank of Belgium says it is already working on developing stronger banknotes to avoid this kind of inconvenience.

Money laundering: money sniffer dogs to help customs officers

Goran, a six-year-old black Labrador, is convinced that money has a smell. For a year and a half, this canine asset of Haut-Rhin customs has been working alongside customs officers to detect dirty money in transit thanks to his flair.

In the aisles of the Franco-Swiss Basel-Mulhouse airport, and under the guidance of his master Thierry, customs controller, Goran strolls to identify large volumes of undeclared money at the border. The banknote has a specific smell depending on the ink used. Our job is to make the dog understand that he has to find a lot of money, summarizes the agent, dog handler since 1991.

fighting dog

Without a leash, Goran calmly moves from the suitcase to the handbag, receives a few caresses, raises his muzzle, sniffs, but continues on his way. The Labrador, a reassuring breed for the population, followed by Thierry and two team members in the background, interrupts his patrol in front of a currency exchange office before leaving. There must be smells circulating, smiles Thierry.

An orange backpack, placed at the feet of a man sitting on a bench in the departures hall, does not take long to catch the nose of the canine customs officer. It proceeds to a moderate active marking of the suspicious good: it sniffs it vigorously before scratching it with its paws.

The agents intervene and discover inside the bag a compact brick of confetti, more than 1,000 crushed 50 euro notes. This exercise, prepared by Thierry, is a success. As a reward, Thierry hands Goran his favorite stuffed animal, which the dog hastens to chew a few meters away, immediately losing interest in the cash.

We have been working together for five years, explains Thierry. Travelers expect us to be looking for drugs rather than money, but Goran can do both. And the techniques for concealing contraband are much the same, according to the customs team.

A cash pioneer dog

Some people hide the banknotes in sachets of spices, in chocolate, others sew the money on their clothes. Some swallow them or insert them into their rectum, explains Isabelle, team leader.

Basel-Mulhouse airport is not the only place where the duo operate. Goran is the only customs crate dog in the Grand Est region, out of a total of fifteen in France.

Thierry and his dog, roommates in life, also lend a hand to the various customs brigades in the department. On the highway, Goran found a few months ago 13,000 euros in 50 bills hidden in the cabin of a truck. A big hit. Most of the finds are between 7,000 and 8,000 euros, accompanied by drugs. This can therefore be directly linked to traffic, he explains.

The 35 kg Labrador is one of the pioneers of a program launched in February 2016 by French customs, inspired by the Germans and the Czechs. Large sums of undeclared cash can be traced back to a whole host of cases, mainly related to drug trafficking, it is explained to the General Directorate of Customs.

dog

Goran, who was trained in drug detection from the age of three months, underwent a 15-day course of sniffing new banknotes sold by the Banque de France or old ones, compacted into bricks of confetti. The exercises, with a key reward – the famous comforter – developed his marking abilities.

From now on, the training continues on the ground. Sometimes the dog becomes too sensitive and also marks small sums. The adjustments are permanent, specifies Thierry. Efforts that bear fruit. Near Bayonne, in March, another crate dog detected more than 650,000 euros hidden in a car bumper, a record.

The General Directorate of Customs, satisfied with the first results, wants to increase the number of duos, like Goran and Thierry, to 21 by the end of the year.

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