Trace drug analysis


MSA experts have worked with UK law enforcement officers on numerous cases where MSA has found drugs traces in vehicles such as cars, vans, boats, and airplanes, which have been seized.

To enable SOCO Officers and others to efficiently collect traces of drugs which may be present in such vehicles; MSA has developed sterile vehicle sampling kits.

These kits comprise thirteen separate sampling swabs and are tested at MSA to ensure they are free from contamination prior to use. The kits are supplied with a full set of instructions and can be used for a variety of sampling scenarios.
After use, the kits can be submitted in person or by courier to the laboratory for testing.

Our team of experts assess the spread and amount of contamination detected on the sampling swabs. Each kit can be processed at MSA in under 30mins, allowing immediate results to be communicated to the submitting Officers. For cars and other motor vehicles, MSA is able to compare the results from a seized vehicle, with results from vehicles sourced from members of the public, rental firms, valet garages and law enforcement officers.

MSA is the only laboratory who attempts to put trace drugs evidence found in vehicles into context; going beyond a simple reporting of detection to determining the significance of the finding of drugs.

MSA’s evidence of drugs traces in vehicles has been successfully used in a number of cases, including those relating to drug trafficking, conspiracy to supply, as well as in murder charges associated with drug related crimes.


Latest news

Rapid Analysis of Drugs and Explosives

Government agencies across the globe are continuously evaluating security equipment used for Drugs and Explosives detection applications, which is a very expensive and time-consuming process. So we were very pleased to see in a recent paper by Tam et al that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has advocated the use of the Mass Spec Analytical ‘Scentinel’ system to massively reduce the time required to obtain results.

Read more

Drug menace off the streets

A significant, longstanding figure within the drug dealing fraternity in Scotland has recently been found guilty by a majority verdict.

Read more

Case study spotlight

Drug Trafficking/Money Laundering Operation: Drugs on money

The Operation was a long running international drug smuggling operation resulting in the seizure of more than 12 tons of controlled drugs with an estimated street value in excess of £61 million.

Read more