As a country with a lot of drug export, Columbia relies on their counter-narcotics police force and K9 units to limit the illegal trade. And while the police force is doing their best, one dog, in particular, is outdoing everyone else. In fact, the Columbian drug-sniffing dog is threatened by a drug gang for finding extraordinary amounts of their drugs.
According to intelligence sources, the Urabeños drugs gang had offered a 200m-peso ($70,000; £53,000) reward for the dog. A female German shepherd, the pooch has found almost 10 tonnes of Urabeños‘ cocaine.
The Urabeños is not a small gang either. Colombia considers them to be the country’s most powerful criminal organization.
The hero German Shepherd Sombra (Shadow) has been moved to Bogotá airport, outside of the gang’s immediate circle of influence. The international airport is supposedly safer for the dog, but the police for is not taking any chances.
In addition to Sombra’s usual handler, she is now accompanied by several additional officers while she works. Up until now, the 6-year-old dog was working in ports on the Atlantic coast. From there, the drug cartel ships tonnes of cocaine by speedboats and submarines to the US and Central America. At least if Sombra doesn’t catch them first. In her time on the East Coast she sniffed out 5.3 tonnes of cocaine at once, then another 4 tonnes stashed in car parts.
At the head of the Urabeños gang is Dairo Antonio Úsuga, who’s also known as Otoniel. Otoniel is one of Colombia’s most wanted men. The gang has also offered money for killings before – in 2012 they offered $500 for the murder of a police officer.
The fact that they are no offering $70,000 for the head of a dog shows how much Sombra is doing to stop them.
Sombra has been a part of the counter-narcotics police all her life. From a little puppy, she’s been raised and trained to be the best drug-sniffing police dog in the world and that’s just what she has become. In her career, she has sniffed out drugs that have led to the arrests of 245 different criminals.