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Criminalistic Identification of PGM-Containing Products of Mining and Metallurgical Companies

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International Volume: 174 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2008 Pages: 12-15
Alexander Perelygin; Alexander Kuchkin; Nikolay Kharkov; Tatyana Moskvina
Date Published
January 2008
4 pages
This study examined the complex procedure for detecting concentrations of precious and platinum group metals (PGM-bearing) intermediate products from different producers.
Findings indicate the complex procedure outlined in the study is a highly effective instrument of criminalistic identification of PGM-bearing products of mineral raw materials and refining. It allows for diagnostics and identification of the source of origin of the individual PGM-bearing products, as well as mixed PGM-bearing compositions containing specially added masking substances. A number of experiments were conducted on the basis of the complex procedure with application of a representative databank of products of Russian origin. As a result, the association of stolen products withdrawn from illegal trans-border precious metals trafficking to specific products of the MMC Norilsk Nickel was soundly proved. In the early 1990s some organized criminal groups started to develop a new field of illegal business involving thefts of intermediate products from mining and metal-producing plants in Russia and South Africa. These materials are smuggled to Western Europe and North America for other refining and laundering of illegal profits. Special attention is being paid to strengthening controls over trans-border trafficking in precious metals and gems. These goods are regularly used as a stable means of payment in illegal transactions involving drugs and arms, as well as for financing terrorists, separatists, and other extremists. The main goal of criminalistics identification of PGM-bearing products is identification of the source of origin (plant, shop, and technological section) of both the individual types of products of mining and metallurgical operations, and the components of mixed compositions of PGM-bearing products, including masking substances, used by criminals to cover the original nature of products sold on the markets. Table, figure, references