The EU has handed over a Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry System (GC-MS) valued at 246,000 USD to the Forensic-Criminalistics Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia (MIA) on 20 April 2021. This support is provided under the EU’s SAFE programme, in partnership with UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
The ceremony was attended by the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Mr. Giorgi BUTKHUZI and the Head of the Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation to Georgia Ms. Sigrid BRETTEL, as well as other relevant dignitaries from the Ministry, the EU Delegation to Georgia and UNOPS.
“Effective law enforcement is a key element of any state. I was very pleased to see how the equipment that the EU in partnership with UNOPS has provided to the Forensic Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is used in practice to support the investigation of crimes. This is the part of a wider EU programme, called “SAFE”, which started two years ago with an EU contribution of 120 million GEL. The main purpose of SAFE is to strengthen the security sector in Georgia. It includes equipment and training to improve the operational and analytical capacities of law enforcement authorities” – said Ms. Brettel.
Mr. Butkuzi also mentioned the importance of the EU assistance and described how GC-MS system could improve MIA performance: “Within the framework of the “SAFE” program operating in Georgia since 2019, a mass spectrometer has been provided to the Expert-Forensic Main Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The device allows to trace both narcotics and explosives at the highest standards and in the shortest possible time. It also enables us to effectively investigate fires, as well as carry out environmental supervision and analysis. The constant updating of its technical equipment is one of the priorities for the Ministry of Internal Affairs and we annually strive to achieve international standards.”
Participants toured the main laboratory of FCD’s Forensic Instrumental Analysis Unit to see how the GC-MS system is applied to identify different substances within a test sample, including drug detection, fire investigation, environmental analysis, explosives investigation, and identification of unknown samples as is used by leading laboratories all around the world. The new GS-MS System allows results in less than an hour, which will significantly improve the Ministry’s capacities for speedy and quality forensic examinations.
“At UNOPS we are proud to facilitate procurement, delivery and installment of the GC/MS system, which is already in operation at the Forensic-Criminalistics Department of the Interior Ministry allowing quality forensic examinations. Since the launch of the Project last year, we have successfully procured three major items for the Ministry with a total value of over one million US Dollars, significantly improving the Ministry’s technological capacities in relevant areas. I would like to thank our partners - the EU Delegation to Georgia and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia for excellent cooperation and continuous support to the Project” - said Ms. Elene Aladashvili, Project Manager at UNOPS, in her remarks.
The GC-MS system, regarded as a "gold standard" for forensic substance identification, has been procured through the financial support of the EU within the frameworks of the ‘Support to Advancing Technical Capacities for Ensuring Human Security’ Project implemented by UNOPS. The Project is part of a wider initiative by the EU for the security sector reform in Georgia - EU SAFE programme, and is aimed at supporting the Government of Georgia in achieving efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of institutions in the security sector through identification of specific needs and procurement of modern technology to enhance institutional and operational capacities of the designated security sector actors.
The EU SAFE programme has been implemented since July 2019. The International Relations Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia is one of the main counterparts in the programme implementation process.