Canine Units Contributed to Security at Chechen Referendum

Some 200 canine units were involved in providing security at the referendum on the Chechen Republic Constitution, Yury Korolev, deputy chief of the Main Criminal Investigation Department of the Russian Interior Ministry's Criminal Police, told the press on Tuesday. He said that 44 polls were checked during the referendum. As a result, the K-9 units discovered 7 explosives and 120 units of ammunition.

"There are currently more than 200 canine units in Chechnya," Korolyov said. "They are working on a permanent basis on Chechen territory, at checkpoints and on the administrative borders with other constituents of the Russian Federation." According to Korolyov, in February-March 2003 alone, K-9 policemen spotted 382 kilograms of explosives and 547 explosive devices. In addition, sniffer dogs helped the police to discover and confiscate 33 units of small arms, 7,256 units of ammunition and 3 kilograms of narcotic substances.

"A canine police centre has been established in the Chechen republic," Korolyov said. He added that groups of K-9 police officers from various Russian regions were regularly sent on mission to Chechnya.

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