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Banda, the hero dog that snared Nigerian Anthony Chinedu

By By Hudson Gumbihi | June 21st 2013

The alleged dark side of the man at the centre of a diplomatic row between Kenya and Nigeria was unmasked by an11-month-old police dog known as Banda.

Even though ranting from the comfort of his homeland miles away, Anthony Chinedu must be ruing that night when the robust Banda caught the suspected drug kingpin following years of suspicion.

Were it not for the male canine, then Chinedu probably could still be in Kenya and would not have been arrested on drug related charges.

On the night of April 15, Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU) sleuths burst into his Kileleshwa house in an operation lasting more than three hours after the controversial businessman allegedly refused to open the door, forcing the officers to break-in.

The detectives then sought the services of canines on discovering that the house had been turned upside down. Officers from the Dog Unit based in Lang’ata were immediately dispatched for reinforcement.

They arrived with three sniffer dogs namely Banda, Figo and Buffy – but it is Banda that saved police from embarrassment when he allegedly discovered 10 grams of what was believed to be narcotics.

The three dogs searched the entire house from ground to the second floor. The drugs had been allegedly hidden in one of the many flowerpots neatly arranged in the sitting room.

The Nigerian had kept police at bay, demanding to be shown a search warrant as he insisted that his lawyer must be around.

But after hours of haggling officers forced their way in finding Chinedu with a Tanzanian thought to be his wife and two children.

“We discovered that he had flushed some stuff in the toilet,” alleged a senior officer, who was involved in the operation. Chinedu’s lawyer arrived as the officers were conducting the search, which also allegedly led to the discovery of a packaging machine.

Commandant of the Dog Unit Gideon Ngumi said the sniffer dogs are well trained on detection of narcotics.

“There is no way the dogs can fail because the training is meant to condition them to specific situations, like the smell of drugs,” he said.

The heroic Banda is a mixture of Labrador and English Springer breeds. Samuel Boit, who heads the narcotics faculty at the Dog Unit Training Centre, said Banda had been involved in similar operations, which he declined to cite.

“Yes Banda and other dogs have been engaged in several searches around Nairobi,” said the chief inspector. 

JKIA is one of the places frequently used by drug traffickers and couriers.



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