Baz the Detector Dog sitting beside a sign saying Detector Dogs  Operating.
Baz and Bindi (not pictured) sniff out narcotics hidden inside a fan.

Detector Dogs Baz and Bindi put a stop to incoming fan mail at Whanganui and Rimutaka prisons this week.

But it was not your typical fan mail.

During a routine search of mail intended for prisoners at Whanganui on Tuesday, Baz became suspicious of a box containing an electric fan.

He indicated to handler John that there were narcotics concealed inside the fan.

Upon further inspection 33.65 grams of a crystal substance, similar to MDMA or methamphetamine, and 8.77 grams of a brown paste smelling of cannabis were located.

On Wednesday, Bindi was searching incoming mail with handler Clint at Rimutaka when she indicated on a bag also containing a fan.

The fan was put through x-ray technology and after further investigations some items were uncovered hidden inside a cavity.

The items removed included two bags of a crystal substance, consistent with MDMA or methamphetamine, one containing 4.16 grams and the other containing 4.98 grams. Around 19.43
grams of tobacco was also located inside the fan and rolling papers.

A packet of white substance being weighed on a scale. The scale reads 33.65 grams.
33.65 grams of a crystal substance found during a search of incoming mail.

“This was excellent work by our detector teams” says Jay, National Manager Specialist Search.

“They successfully stopped these drugs from getting into prison where they could have created a more dangerous working environment for our staff, and prevented prisoners from engaging in rehabilitation, education and employment opportunities.

“Preventing contraband from entering our sites is something we take extremely seriously. It is a constant challenge, especially when people go to such extreme lengths to get contraband in.

“Our detector dogs and handlers will continue to be vigilant and work hard across the country to keep our prisons free of contraband and our communities safe.”

A range of methods are used at prisons across New Zealand to prevent drugs, weapons, cellphones and other prohibited items from entering. They include 24 detector dog teams, x-ray technology, telephone monitoring of prisoners calls and single points of entry to sites.

Both incidents has been reported to Police for further investigation.