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The scent of Euro: Greece to “hire” dogs to sniff out cash in suitcases

What is the scent of euro banknotes? Old ink? Musty paper? Wooden fiber? Do banknotes absorb the smell of the place where they were stored? Do euro banknotes smell like Mattress mites? Flowerpot soil and baked terracotta? And how does the color affect the scent? Do 500-euro banknotes have the fragrance of a ripe strawberry, while 100-euro ones smell like freshly cut grass and 20-euro banknotes like sea breeze? And do euro-banknotes smell different than banknotes in US Dollars, in Swiss Francs or Iraqi Dinars and Chinese Yen? I have no idea. But others know better.

The Greek Finance Ministry will hire four dogs assigned to sniff out cash in passengers’ luggage at the country’s airports Departures or at customs. The dogs will have the duty to sniff out money about to leave Greece illegally and with a loud WUFF! and a cheerful tail wagging earn their award: a kibble or two.

But before the dogs be able to pawsign their job contract, first of all, the Finance Ministry will establish a committee consisting by sniffing dog trainers and to evaluate the candidates, read their paw-written CVs and pawdivation letters.

Successful candidates must have a specific profile* and fulfill strict requirement. Among others, they must have:

proven record of physical health and psychological stability

preferably German Shepherds, Labradors or Belgian Malinois

aged between 12-24 months


with proven ability for Pray-Drive & Retrieve, but a low Defense-Drive.

*for full list of requirements [in Greek], click the link. Foreigners can apply too.

Once the short-listed candidates are “interviewed” and the selection process concludes the successful job seekers will receive adequate training in sniffing out cash hidden in luggage, in vehicles – and possible also in mattresses, in empty jam jars and in the back of deep freezer?

The vacancy does not mention working hours, working location, remuneration and benefits.

Much to my knowledge, in the EU and the eurozone area, one can carry out of a country  cash up to 10,000 euro. And higher amounts needed to be declared so that the carrier is exempted form tax evasion, money laundering, drug dealing or other illegal activities.

And here is initial question again: How does money smell like and how are dogs trained to sniff out loads of cash?

Dogs are trained to detect the particular ink used in printing the bills. The exact composition of legal tender, including the formula for ink, is a closely guarded secret. The dogs are trained to sniff out bundles containing hundreds or more of individual notes. U.S. currency is printed on cotton/linen fiber instead of wood fiber used for paper. Money will have the scent of the many people who have handled it. “And people who seem to know what they are talking about tell us that much of the money we carry around with us has the odor of cocaine from some all-cash drug deal in the past.”


PS I think this glorious idea comes a couple of years late. The big money from tax evasion has been out of the country, long ago. Or not?

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