Minister of National Security Victor La Corbiniere is being urged to provide a detail explanation as to what led to the sudden closure of the forensic lab at Tapion, before it is reopened.
United Workers Party (UWP) member, Hermangild Francis, made this remark during an appearance on News Maker Live with Timothy Poleon on Wednesday evening.
Francis said some of the things that happened at the forensic lab, should not have happened and it was an indictment on the part of Lacobiniere to say that he was unaware of what was taking place.
“An important department like the forensic lab, the minister should have had regular visits with the security at the facility to make sure that everything was in order,” he asserted.
The UWP member said the lab was compromised because drugs, particularly cocaine, were removed and replaced with flour at the testing facility.
“An investigation was due and was in progress. That has been completed and the minister is yet to tell the public of the investigation,” Francis opined.
The former Deputy Police Chief said the public should not only be made aware of the investigation, but the minister need to say whether anybody was responsible for the breach in protocol.
“We need to know what happened to employees there, whether anybody is under suspicion. Whether anyone is still employed and if these persons undertook polygraph tests before they were employed. All of these things need to be explained to the public before you even think of reopening the lab.”
Francis said following the closure of the forensic lab, 42 samples were sent for testing in Bermuda. This costed the government over $400,000. DNA and other samples are still being sent for testing overseas.
La Corbiniere had said Cabinet has taken some decisions with regards to the forensic lab, one of which is to allow an independent entity to run the operations.
The closure of the forensic lab has, however, affected the ability of the Police Force to move forward with a number of serious crimes, according to senior police officials.
The lab was reportedly short on material to conduct forensic tests, which initially caused operations to slow down at the facility. It was later shut down and remains closed for several months.