Po­lice ac­quire $250k ma­chine for foren­sic data

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The Fiji Po­lice Force’s chem­istry lab has re­cently pro­cured a ma­chine that is en­vis­aged to strengthen its foren­sic chem­istry ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Prin­ci­pal sci­en­tific of­fi­cer (Chem­istry) Mil­iana Were­bauinona said the Gas Chro­mato­graph Mass Spec­trom­e­ter was bought through the Fiji Po­lice Force’s 2015 cap­i­tal projects al­lo­ca­tion at a cost of $250,000. “What we are now able to do is take bi­o­log­i­cal sam­ples such as stom­ach con­tents, urine and blood sam­ples, con­duct cer­tain prep meth­ods be­fore it is in­jected in to the ma­chine so we can get re­sults,” Ms Were­bauinona said. Ms Were­bauinona also said the ma­chine would in­crease the lab’s ca­pac­ity to as­sist in crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions. “The GCMS will en­able us to de­velop meth­ods for il­licit drugs so we can con­duct tests for drugs in post mortem sam­ples as some­times we get cases where our Pathol­o­gists may ask us to de­tect over­doses,” she said.

“This ma­chine can also ef­fec­tively de­tect com­pounds that may be put in a drink, if we re­ceive a case of drinks be­ing spiked. If the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer can tell us what to look for we can use the ref­er­ence sam­ples and see if there is a pos­i­tive match”. Per­son­nel of the chem­istry lab had un­der­gone train­ing con­ducted by Rod Cooper who is a se­nior ser­vice engi­neer and IT spe­cial­ist with Aus­tralian based Shi­madzu Ex­cel­lence in Sci­ence. “The GCMS re­in­forces what Po­lice do to get a con­vic­tion in what crim­i­nals do in il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity,” he said. He added that fre­quent train­ing and keep­ing up with new tech­niques would be es­sen­tial for the chem­istry lab per­son­nel which in turn will as­sist the Fiji Po­lice’s Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions Depart­ment. Source: Fiji Po­lice Me­dia Cell

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