Colombian Gang Offers $70K Bounty for Drug-Sniffing Dog
One particular member of the Colombian National Police has put so much fear into the hearts of drug smugglers that they have reportedly offered up to $70 thousand to anyone who can poison her food or water.
Sombra, a six-year-old German shepherd, has uncovered so much contraband that a major drug gang has put a bounty on her head.
According to the National Post, Sombra’s search skills have led to the seizure of more than ten tons of cocaine and the arrest of 245 people—so far.
En homenaje a los integrantes de la #FuerzaPública, nos acompaña ‘Sombra’, una pastor alemán de 6 años de @PoliciaAntiNar, por cuya vida la mafia ofrece hasta 200 millones de pesos. Su trabajo ha permitido la captura de al menos 245 personas. #COLOMBIAunasolaFUERZA pic.twitter.com/1c59KyGfxY
— General Jorge Nieto (@GeneralNietoR) July 20, 2018
Sombra was originally posted to various ports on Colombia’s Atlantic coast, where smugglers sent speedboats loaded with drugs north to the United States or across the ocean to Europe.
In three separate seizures, Sombra recovered more than 22,000 pounds of cocaine. One shipment was packed into banana boxes and bound for Belgium. One of the other shipments was labeled as auto parts.
Sombra wasn’t fooled by the labels—her nose told her what was hidden inside.
The illegal drugs belonged to the powerful Urabeños, also called the Gulf clan, run by Dairo Antonio Úsuga also known as Otoniel. “Otoniel” is one of Colombia’s most wanted criminals.
Otoniel, outraged by the enormous losses caused by Somra’s sensitive nose, offered 200 million pesos, about $70,000 US, to anyone who eliminated the highly effective anti-drug campaigner, El Spectador reported.
Sombra Transferred for Safety
In response to the threats against Sombra’s life, General Jorge Nieto, Director of the National Police, ordered Sombra to be reassigned to indoor duty.
Sombra, surrounded by an extra cadre of bodyguards, is now working in Colombia’s airports, where she has proven to be every bit as effective.
According to El Spectador, Sombra’s efforts led to the seizure of three cocaine shipments in a 24-hour period, July 21–July 22.
The Anti-Narcotics Police reported that a shipment of sports shoes headed for Australia, marked “Colombian National Team,” were packed with cocaine. While police were busy collecting those packages, Sombra found two more—One, a box of small sculptures packed with powder addressed to a person in Michigan, in the U.S., and the third, a hammock packed full of cocaine.
Famous Canine Cop
Sombra has achieved celebrity status in Colombia, emerging as the hairy, friendly face of the nation’s deadly war against drug cartels. Because she has been so successful, she is the topic of tweets and has even been featured on television.
She has twice been awarded the Wilson Quintero medal, an honor awarded for critical contributions to the fight against drug trafficking, the National Post reported.
Sometimes people ask to pose for pictures with the furry officer when they see her on duty in the airport.
Happily, Sombra, while all business on the job, has a friendly disposition.
“Sombra is a very friendly, calm canine, and for that reason, she has no problem approaching children or people who want to say hello to her,” Oscar Favian Solarte, head of the anti-narcotics division, told El Tiempo.
“She’s playful, and in fact that is part of the development of her job. Not only to look for caches of illicit drugs but also, after her work is done, to de-stress, so to speak.”
While Sombra is furry and friendly and fun, the death threats made against her are real—and show exactly how serious the drug war can be.
Like most dogs, Sombra likes to play, and enjoys being scratched and petted, but at the same time, she is an essential instrument in the struggle against criminal forces which endanger the lives of Colombia’s inhabitants on a daily basis.