Internet Radio

Police to send DNA samples to Brazil

Guyana is turning to Brazil for help with sophisticated crime scene forensic tests because Caribbean laboratories are taking too long to conduct them and return results, a senior police official said Monday.

Chief of Criminal Investigations, Deputy Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud said details are being finalized with the Brazilian liaison officer in Georgetown before the first set of samples is dispatched to the Portuguese-speaking nation.

He said laboratory reports would be provided in Portuguese and English, and interpreters would be hired when necessary to assist Brazilian experts in leading evidence. Guyana will have to pay for all services that will be provided by the Brazilian labs.

The senior police officer said agreement was reached on using the Brazilian forensic laboratory when security officials from both countries met earlier this year.

Similar opportunities, he said, are being explored with United States authorities.

Persaud lamented the length of time that the Barbadian and Jamaican forensic labs have been taking to provide results. In the case of Barbados, the laboratory has been down for the past two years and even accepted DNA samples without informing Guyanese authorities that the facility has not been functioning.

Asked whether samples that have been already dispatched to Barbados would be recalled and sent to Brazil, the Deputy Police Commissioner said the legal ramifications would have to be examined.

DNA testing is not expected to be done at the GUY$450 million laboratory whose construction is nearing completion at the Dennis Street end of the University of Guyana Turkeyen Campus.