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Hi-tech system to speed up probes

mumbai Updated: Sep 11, 2009 02:20 IST
Rachna Pratihar
Rachna Pratihar
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Had the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) been in place during the 26/11 attacks, it would not have taken forensic experts several weeks to analyse and compare the roughly 4,000 bullets, cartridges and firearms seized from different attack sites.

The examination instead would have been completed in a matter of days, speeding up the investigation.

“As data through IBIS is compared digitally, it saves a lot of time; it would have been very useful after the terror attacks when a large number of arms, bullets and cartridges were seized from the crime scenes,” observed Bryan Leahy, an Ireland-based field engineer and trainer with Forensic Technology, a multinational technology firm in Montreal, Canada.

Leahy (29) is in Mumbai to train forensic experts at the Directorate of Forensic Science laboratory how to use IBIS, which was recently procured.

During the fortnight’s training that began last week, Leahy has been instructing officers in the use, abuse and functioning of the system.

Leahy said the system is useful in countries like India, which have been victims of frequent terror attacks. The system is widely used in Europe, he said.

“Through IBIS, Interpol has been sharing information across Europe,” said Leahy. “In South Africa, it has been in use for the last 10 years. Thousands of cases have been solved [using it].”

Several states in the US and countries like Romania have introduced a new registration scheme for firearms. “Under this system, while issuing the licence, data related to every firearm is stored in IBIS,” explained Leahy.

Local forensic experts said the training was vital. “As IBIS is very sophisticated, no expert can use it without understanding the system. So far, we have examined all types of bullets and cartridge cases and feel much more confident now,” said a forensic official.