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Rajax putting his paws up after six years

09.06am 27 July 2018 | News

Customs Detector dog Rajax is hanging up his harness and heading into a well-earned retirement, after nearly six years on the job during which he detected 75 kilograms of drugs and over $3.3 million in undeclared cash.

Rajax started working with Customs in December 2012, and was dual-trained to find drugs and cash. He has worked mainly in Auckland at the International Airport, International Mail Centre, as well as checking air and sea cargo, and cruise ships.

His handler Andrew says Rajax, or Jax as he is often called, was always special, and his potential was obvious soon after starting on the job.

"Born on 6 April 2011, Rajax was the 2000th puppy bred at the Australian Border Force in Melbourne, where all of our detector dogs come from. And within the first few weeks, he positively indicated the presence of drugs in a shipment from China.

"Even though x-ray images were negative, the examining officers trusted Rajax's indication and further examined the large metal bolt shipment. As a result, around 2.5 kg of the meth precursor Contac NT was found."

Rajax quickly gained reputation for "always being right". He even reached celebrity status as one of the stars in the popular TV series Dog Squad and Border Patrol.

"Rajax has had quite a few highlights during his career, but one vivid memory I have was attending a joint Customs and Police search that located $710,000 in concealed currency, and 5 kg of cocaine."

In 2014 and 2017, Rajax and Andrew won the Regional Detector Dog Trials in Auckland, before going on to represent Customs at the National Detector Dog Trials in Wellington. In 2017 they won third place, and won the inter-customs trophy for the best-placed Customs team at nationals.

"Rajax has such a good temperament, and was well loved by everyone who met him. He has been hardworking, obedient, and genuinely loved coming to work to do his job. I feel incredibly lucky to have been paired with him, and I will miss bringing him to work.

"Rajax is now an official member of our family, and we will make sure he enjoys his retirement. He'll be spending more time getting out and about having fun at the local forest and beaches – he's earned it," Andrew says.