Hong Kong is set to become a training hub for sniffer dogs and will host a global forum for experts in the field next year. The Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Louise Ho, reached an agreement to that effect during her trip to the World Customs Organization in Brussels and Interpol's headquarters in Lyon that ended Monday.
Ho last week led a delegation to attend the Customs Co-operation Council Sessions of the World Customs Organization in the Belgian capital, which brings together the heads and senior officials from 185 customs administrations around the world.
During the annual gathering, she signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Secretary-General of the organisation, Kunio Mikuriya, to confirm the establishment of a World Customs Organization Regional Dog Training Centre in Hong Kong.
The government described this as a momentous step forward for Hong Kong Customs in leading canine training in the Asia-Pacific region.
At the signing ceremony, Ho said that as a pioneer in global customs canine training and law enforcement, Hong Kong Customs is moving full steam ahead to prepare for the WCO 6th Global Canine Forum to be held in March next year.
Officials said this will be the first time that the city has hosted such a major international event, and that esteemed canine experts from all over the world will be invited to participate.
During her stay in Brussels, Ho held talks with China's minister of customs, Yu Jianhua, as well as the heads of customs of the European Commission and Qatar, in addition to signing customs co-operative arrangements with Chile and the Maldives.
After the Customs Co-operation Council Sessions, the customs chief paid a courtesy call on the Director of Organized and Emerging Crime Directorate of Interpol, Ilana De Wild, in Lyon on Monday, before flying back to Hong Kong.