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Rajax and his handler, senior customs officer Andrew Bond, at Auckland International Airport – Photo courtesy of Greenstone TV

Rajax putting his paws up after six years

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 kg of drugs and over $3.3 million in undeclared cash.

WEB EXCLUSIVE

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 and international mail centre, as well as checking air and sea cargo and cruise ships.

His handler, senior customs officer Andrew Bond, says Rajax, or Jax as he is often called, has always been 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.”

Rajax as a puppy at the Australian Border Force

Within the first few weeks, he had 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,” Andrew says.

Rajax quickly gained a 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. 

Career highlights

 Andrew says Rajax has had quite a few highlights during his career, but one vivid memory occurred while attending a joint Customs and NZ 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 and 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,” Andrew says.
 
“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!”


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