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Brit. Currency-Sniffing Dog Makes First Cash Haul in New Police Operation

LONDON (AP) -- A sniffer dog trained to detect the smell of banknotes helped the police confiscate 23,900 pounds (US$39,313) in London Thursday, the first seizure in a new joint operation by police and Customs, the agency said.

A "currency dog," one of 25 trained by British police to detect the scent of the ink, found a man carrying the money at London's Euston train station.

The man -- who has not been named -- was allegedly unable to explain why he had the money. He was released but the cash was confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The money is the first seizure by Operation Payback, a four-year joint initiative between police and Customs designed to attack the proceeds of crime by impounding illegal cash and assets.

Since the Proceeds of Crime Act came into effect in December 2002, police have confiscated more than 36 million pounds (US$60.1 million). Currency dogs working in other operations and have sniffed out 813,527 pounds (US$1.36 million) in cash in 48 seizures since April, Customs said.

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