All DNA testing to be done in Guyana soon – Minister Benn 

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Guyana’s DNA testing capabilities are set for a massive upgrade soon with the procurement of new equipment, costing the state some US$300,000.

The equipment is expected to arrive in the country soon, Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn told the News Room on Monday.

Even though the Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory can perform DNA testing, Minister Benn related that there are challenges when those tests are to be conducted on badly decomposed bodies and in other circumstances where sampling is poor.

When this occurs, the samples are usually sent overseas for testing which has proven to be both costly and timely.

“The intention is not to have to send samples overseas for testing, they maybe challenge … with bodies which may have been lying out bare and degraded significantly overtime but basically, we would be able to do all types of DNA testing,” Minister Benn said at the side-lines of an event on Monday at Cummings Lodge, Greater Georgetown.

Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn (Photo: Ministry of Housing and Water/May 23, 2022)

Currently, the forensic lab can conduct DNA testing for comparison or matching evidence to suspects, paternity testing and family mapping.

But in order to solve a number of cases such as murders and rapes, more equipment to conduct additional DNA testing is needed in Guyana.

“We have the instrumentation we are bringing in some more equipment at great cost, the last number I heard was over US$300,000 for the equipment,” Minister Benn said.

A Rosignol, West Coast Berbice family has been waiting for over a month for the DNA test results after their relative, Suraj Dhaneshwar, fell overboard while fishing on March 16.

On April 12, a badly decomposed body washed up at the Dantzig, Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara foreshore and it is suspected to be that of Dhaneshwar, but only the DNA test can confirm.

Relatives of the missing fisherman said they were told that they would have to wait approximately three weeks for the DNA test results.

Meanwhile, the body remains at the Bailey’s Funeral Home.

 

 

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