DAR ES SALAAM, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in Tanzania have ordered police to urgently trace a sniffer dog trained to detect contraband that went missing at the east African nation's leading port of Dar es Salaam on Thursday.
Kangi Lugola, the Minister for Home Affairs, ordered Inspector General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro to make sure that the dog was found at whatever cost.
Lugola wondered how could the dog out of six stationed at the port disappeared on Wednesday morning.
"What I have heard about these dogs is quite unpleasant. I'm told some are rented for other uses. I am really saddened by these reports because these dogs are doing what police officers cannot," he said.
"When I am done with this visit today, I want the IGP to call me by 6 p.m. The dog should be at the port at that time, and I want to know where the dog was and what it was doing," said the minister as he inspected police operations at the port.
Lugola said the dog's many skills included the ability to sniff out guns, bombs, ivory and illegal drugs.
Dar es Salaam port is the principal port serving Tanzania and handles over 90 percent of the country's cargo traffic.
According to the International Association of Ports and Harbors, it is the fourth largest port on the African continent's Indian Ocean coastline after Durban, Mombasa and Maputo.
The port acts as a gateway for commerce and trade for Tanzania and numerous bordering landlocked states.