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Solomon Islands Police are currently working on ways to destroy the bulk of cocaine seized from a foreign yacht at Point Cruz, Thursday last week.
Police Commissioner Matthew Varley revealed this on Thursday at his weekly media conference.
“It’s too dangerous and a security risk to keep the bulk of cocaine,” Varley said.
“So, we will be working on a plan soon with co-operation from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the courts to arrange the destruction of that seizure,” he added
“Essentially it has to be burnt.
“That is the international method for disposing of these types of narcotics.
“You can’t just sort of throw them into the rubbish or in the ocean.
“You have to burn them but it has to be some special procedures to make sure that first of all, the forensic side is managed and we can account for each block that is burnt.
“We do a special counting procedure to double check that but also too we have to make sure the burning is done in some safe way.”
Varley said currently they are investigating options by talking to forensic chemist and scientists in Australia to get some technical advice on that and to the DPP on the process.
He said they believe it is something that can be carried out pretty soon in Honiara and they will keep the media updated on that.
“We certainly don’t want to be storing a large amount of drugs a long time, so we are talking about weeks, not months.
Varley said in this case, what happens was the forensic scientist take a series of samples and do some presumptive testing and some chemical testing in their lab.
He added that as the Acting Commissioner of Crime Ian Vaevaso had earlier confirmed, the cocaine was actually being scientifically cocaine.
He however, said there will be further testing that has to follow up in an Australian laboratory to determine the chemical purity and other measures, such as chemical composition.
He said all of that intelligence is important not only for further investigation and brief of evidence back in Australia, but also goes into a global law enforcement database that shares information on these sorts of seizures so that police can identify which syndicates are connected to which seizures, where they manufacture the drugs etc...
Varley said some of the bricks of cocaine bear an image or a mark including a number of stars.
“What we know about international drug manufacturing groups is like any other commodity they like to have a brand name or a brand symbol.
“This is a way of showing the market, you know, where the drugs come from, things about quality and purity, just like any other commodity.”
Varley said part of this process is not only the deconstruction and analysis of the drugs for court purposes but also for analytical and intelligence purposes for global law enforcement.
The police chief said this is what was going in at the RSIPF headquarters lab and exhibits office this week.
He said it is the first time our officers had been involved in that sort of painstaking process.
“It takes days.
“As you can image every single one of those 500 blocks has to be tested and then from there some samples are taken and those samples will eventually be shipped to Australia securely for further analysis in the lab.”
Vaevaso had earlier told reporters that with the help of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigators and forensic specialists, they have tested the narcotics and they were tested positive as cocaine.
He said other processes that they undertake was finger printing the wraps of the cocaine for DNA and as well as getting samples for the cocaine which is needed to be sent to Australia for further testing to check the level of purity.
“So, these processes have been completed.
“The cocaine has been now safely secured and awaiting further instructions on how we are going to destroy them if that is the way we are going to take in the future,
“I am very impressed with the support of the AFP investigators and forensic specialists who were here to support RSIPF.
“We have been working hard and my team are benefiting from this arraignment.
“My officers are building themselves in terms of skills on how they can deal with and the knowledge on how they can manage such drugs seizure in the future so it is really a great benefit for RSIPF in terms of working together with AFP,” Mr Vaevaso further added.
SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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