The National Commander of the DDU was appointed on 1 July 2006 in order to establish a fully functional and operational DDU within SARS.
The initial appointment of two qualified specialist trainers and five detector dog handlers further contributed to the establishment of the first SARS DDU to increase non-intrusive search and detection at ports of entry and inland operations.
The DDU has since expanded its footprint to all regions within South Africa, comprising twelve detector dog units with teams of certified handlers and dogs trained to detect illicit substances and goods concealed in all modes of transport, luggage and buildings. With the exception of explosives detector dogs, all dogs are dual trained to detect different substances and goods. Authentic samples of target substances are used for continuous imprinting to optimise productivity and detection capabilities. The unit boasts with remarkable success in the prevented smuggling of illegal narcotics, explosives, firearms, endangered species, tobacco products, currency, copper wire, abalone and lion bones, and is currently the only administration in Africa capable of performing rummages, rapid responses and joint operations via helicopter drops of handlers and dogs.
Only the best veterinarian service is provided to our dogs, and handlers are well trained to provide a high standard of general care according to national legislation and approved internal policy and standard operating procedures.
The DDU Management has assisted various Customs Administrations in the establishment of DDUs and training of detector dog teams.