Prosecution Defence DNA Testing International

Drugs On Money Testing

A recent addition to our range of services, Key Forensic Services are the only UKAS-accredited laboratory for the testing of both polymer and conventional paper banknotes for traces of drugs.

World leading scientists

Our scientists are world-leaders in testing for evidence of Drugs on Money and are based at our ISO-17025 accredited trace detection laboratory that specialises in testing for illicit drugs on banknotes.

By using our innovative technology, our scientists can test thousands of banknotes quickly and effectively, without the need for environmentally-damaging solvents or destroying the evidence.

Our trace evidence is supporting evidence that is used in many different prosecution cases.

For example, in cases involving money laundering, drug trafficking and/or possession with intent to supply, our scientists can analyse a person’s banknotes and demonstrate if they are likely to suggest involvement in such activity.

To do this, KFS use our own triple quad mass spectrometers that deliver two stages of identification through two stages of mass spectrometry where two separate techniques are used to identify substances. The legal requirement for high specificity is satisfied by utilising ion transitions which are highly characteristic of the target substances. The mass spectrometers use bespoke thermal ion sources that enable the fast processing of items through direct analysis requiring no sample preparation, glassware or solvents. The thermal sources are used with paper/cotton banknotes and swabs for testing polymer banknotes. The use of swabs also allows other artefacts, such as mobile phones and clothing to be tested.

Key features of our drugs on money testing service:

KFS has the largest ongoing database of sterling banknotes in the world, with both paper and polymer banknotes taken from general circulation and those known to be associated with drug related crime. This database information is used by our scientists to compare with results obtained from sampling exhibits.
By analysing each banknote individually, a greater understanding of the spread of contamination is achieved. By using a real-time trace analysis technique called Tandem Mass Spectrometry, our scientists can see the results as each banknote is analysed in real time.
We do not destroy exhibits. Items can be introduced directly into the instrument or sampled indirectly without damage. We can also preserve exhibits for fingerprint, or other forms of analysis.

Further information

For queries or quotes, please call on 02477 712246 or email us at