Pubdate: Mon, 27 Feb 2017
Source: Metro (Halifax, CN NS)
Copyright: 2017 Metro Canada
Author: Zane Woodford
Page: 3


Force believes missing money placed in police bank account

Halifax Regional Police have located 34 of 72 exhibits that were
missing from their evidence storage, but the remaining 38 - including
nearly $5,000 in cash - are still unaccounted for.

Chief Jean-Michel Blais will present a report to the municipality's
Board of Police Commissioners on Monday updating the force's progress
on finding the missing items from the Drug Exhibit Audit released last

That audit was conducted between June and November 2015 after an
officer was accused of stealing from an evidence vault. Police
originally found 90 per cent of the drug exhibits in one vault were
unaccounted for, and 55 per cent of the evidence in the money vault
wasn't where it was supposed to be.

The audit was released publicly last year, and by that time 74 of 507
exhibits in a sample audit were still missing.

A secondary review report coming to the board on Monday says two of
those items had already been found, dropping the number to 72. A team
of investigators was then able to locate 34 exhibits - meaning they
were either found somewhere or destroyed with proper

The remaining 38 could not be found. The team believes 32 of them -
drugs, paraphernalia and miscellaneous items - were destroyed, and six
cash exhibits were deposited into a police bank account, but it was
unable to prove that theory.

The team believes the drugs - including about 85 grams of marijuana,
some crack cocaine and ecstasy - and miscellaneous items - including a
burnt cigar and a birth certificate - were destroyed "without
ministerial authorization" or in a batch with other items and not 

The six cash exhibits, totalling $4,956, could have been deposited
into a police bank account, much of it in a large batch without proper
documentation and the remainder in another deposit, but the team
"could not determine any of this conclusively due to insufficient

The team "found no evidence to suggest exhibits were misappropriated,
however, this conclusion is not definitive," the report said.

Blais' presentation will also update the board on the force's progress
in implementing 34 recommendations from the Drug Exhibit Audit - 23 of
which are complete and 11 in progress.

The board and regional council also approved a new position for the
police as part of their 2017 budget, a new evidence custodian, which
police say will help complete those recommendations.
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