The EU-ACT European project has organised a workshop to highlight the role of forensic techniques in improving the fight against drug trafficking in the country
Ukrainian law does not currently cover issues such as the use of drugs seized by the police in the course of criminal investigations (so-called “secondary samples”) as material for training or tests in their laboratories or for calibrating their instruments, nor does it have an effective and rapid legal mechanism for the inclusion of New Psychotropic Drugs (NPS) as controlled substances.
As a result, the Kiev Institute of Forensic Experts requested that a workshop be held that would allow them to learn about European Union legislation and better understand how to perform the profiling of synthetic narcotic drugs and other forensic techniques in the fight against drug trafficking.
One of the aims of the EU-ACT project, which has European funding and is managed by FIIAPP, is to ensure that Ukrainian laboratories meet the necessary requirements to be able to be accredited in line with international standards, hence the importance of such workshops and activities to Ukrainian professionals.
At the request of the EU-ACT project, a group has been created comprising the forensic laboratories of all Ukrainian public institutions involved in the suppression and prevention of drug trafficking. The group includes the laboratories of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of the Interior, the Security Service and the Ministry of Health, among others.
As a result of this request, the project has organised a workshop that allows Ukrainian laboratories to learn how other Europeans work. Given the impossibility of Spanish specialists travelling to Kiev due to the Covid-19 situation, a workshop was organised for specialists from the Kiev Institute of Scientific Research and their counterparts from the Spanish National Police‘s Scientific Police Department.
Among the topics that were examined in the workshop, the importance of legislation in the European framework and how it has been introduced in the Spanish framework warrant special mention, as do Spain’s experience in the fight against NPS, their classification and profiling and EU experiences and protocol regarding the collection of evidence and its registration in laboratories.
As these techniques also affect other areas of the fight against drug trafficking and the workshop had a cross-cutting nature. For this reason, the staff of the State Attorney General’s Office, the Ukrainian National Police and the Centre for Drug Monitoring are also associated members of the group.
The group’s results can be seen in their important achievements, as well as the legislative changes in the classification of narcotic substances regarding new psychoactive substances and the establishment of a methodology to be implemented when carrying out inter-laboratory exercises. As far as the latter is concerned, activities have been undertaken in which more than 20 laboratories have participated, with the preparation of a manual-guide in which a series of evaluation techniques, protocols and methods are outlined.
The guide offers a practical way to see how laboratories work with protocols that are the same or comparable with those of any country in the world. In it, laboratories are directed to carry out practical exercises which consist of analysing unknown substances in order to identify them and find out their make-up. National and International Certification Institutions require these practices to be carried out to ensure that the laboratories are certified or accredited pursuant to ISO standards.
As a continuation of this seminar, there will be a visit to Spain’s Scientific Police Department laboratories in Madrid, in which specialists from the Kiev Institute of Scientific Research will take part. The dates for this visit will depend on the evolution of the health situation in both countries.