Cutting-edge tech introduced
Bangladesh now has the cutting-edge technology and expertise to solve violent crimes, identify human remains and solve very old criminal cases using DNA analysis, said speakers at a certificate award ceremony yesterday.
“The Combined DNA Index System, better known as CODIS, enables laboratories to store, compare and match DNA records, so DNA evidence collected from a crime scene can be used to solve the crime,” said US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan Mozena.
The certificates were awarded to 13 scientific officers and lab technologists of National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory (NFDPL) who completed a six-day training on use of the CODIS software at the lab in the capital.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provided the software to NFDPL for free in the wake of the need to identify the 322 bodies recovered from the rubble of Rana Plaza, which collapsed on April 24.
A three-member FBI team arrived in Dhaka on September 21 to help install the software and provide the training.
Dr Sharif Akhteruzzaman, national technical adviser, NFDPL, said once the DNA act was finalised, this software could be used in maintaining a national DNA database, starting off with profiles of convicted offenders and unidentified bodies.The draft of the act, enabling the legal use of DNA as forensic evidence, is currently awaiting vetting at the law ministry, he informed. He also said DNA profiling of 80 percent of the unidentified Rana Plaza bodies and the 555 persons claiming to be relatives has been completed. Akhteruzzaman said CODIS increased the lab's capacity as it can compare five million DNA profiles at a time.
Dr Abul Hossain, project director, Multi-Sectoral Programme on Violence Against Women, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, also spoke.