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Applied DNA Sciences Helps Convict Major European Drug RingSuccesses With Global Law Enforcement Prepare Technology to Protect American Cash, Banks, ATMs, Jewelers and Pharmacies (January 13, 2012)
STONY BROOK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 01/13/12 -- Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. (OTCBB: APDN), a provider of DNA-based security, anti-counterfeiting technology, law-enforcement and product-authentication solutions announced today that its SigNature DNA® anti-crime technology has played a key role in the dismantling of a major drug ring in the United Kingdom, where eleven drug cartel members were sentenced to a total of 31 years in prison. A massive police operation, conducted over a period of three years, resulted in seizures totaling £265,000 (more than $400,000) of cocaine, heroin and cannabis, along with £47,000 (nearly $75,000) in cash. Codenamed Operation Betula, the police work culminated late last December in the sentencing of the cartel leader, where an important part of the evidence was SigNature DNA.
Operation Betula (betula comes from the Latin for birch tree) began during 2009 in the city of Gloucester, in the center of England, but soon spread to London, Somerset and South Wales, as a major drug distribution network was gradually uncovered.
The APDN product SigNature DNA became a major piece in a case that, in the words of the sentencing judge was an especially "difficult case to investigate and bring to trial." Judge Horton, noted that "defendants were sophisticated, devious and experienced professional criminals who had above average skills in anti-surveillance, and had developed a commercial dealing network which was both efficient and well concealed."
Detective Inspector Neil Carpenter, who led the operation, called the case "very complex."
But SigNature DNA assisted police in providing irrefutable evidence to bring these criminals to justice.
SigNature DNA marks cash, and often the criminals themselves, when a cash-carrying strongbox is forced open and the DNA carrier is automatically sprayed. The unique DNA marker irrevocably associates the cash, or the offender, with the crime. The DNA is exceptionally resilient and can last for years on cash notes and clothing. On skin, the DNA marks also resist removal.
A breakthrough occurred when the house of the cartel leader, Leslie Jenkins, was raided, and £10,000 (more than $15,000) in cash was seized, even while Jenkins was caught attempting to dispose of a stash of cocaine. The cash was tested for APDN's SigNature DNA and found to consist of notes stolen in an earlier cash-in-transit robbery that had taken place in Liverpool. Jenkins' role was to launder the stolen money, and he subsequently pleaded guilty to money laundering in June 2011. He was sentenced to eleven years in prison during the December court session.
Most of the other ten convicted cartel members also pleaded guilty.
Dr. James Hayward, APDN CEO and President, stated: "Our technologies are being used to obtain convictions in major crimes throughout Europe and now the US. In cases like this, where sophisticated criminals can be difficult to find and convict, our SigNature DNA makes a watertight case. It proves legally and without doubt that the criminal is linked to a specific crime. We are proud to help bring security and safety to citizens wherever our products are used, whether protecting cash, ATM machines, banks, jewelers or pharmacies."
For several years, APDN's SigNature DNA has played an integral role in a well-designed police offensive in the U.K., primarily against cash-in-transit robberies, and also other crimes. Where the strategy and technology has been used, cash-in-transit crime rates have been slashed, and this in a country that has witnessed nearly 75% of the world's cash-in-transit crime in recent years. Lancashire Constabulary police and APDN have been awarded top prizes for this anti-crime work, the latest in December at the coveted Tilley Awards presented at the House of Parliament.
A similar product in the company's security portfolio, which APDN calls SmartDNA, has successfully deterred robberies in Swedish jewelers, and is now being installed at bank branches in New York. SmartDNA also covers criminals with a dye, but it is delivered as a spray to the offender as they leave the scene of a crime. The company has also publicly campaigned for the use of SmartDNA in Long Island pharmacies, which have been victimized by a string of robberies and deadly shootings since last year.
In this connection, Joseph Perri, the CEO of Gold Coast bank which is now installing SmartDNA units, commented: "We are completely convinced by the deterrent capacity of SmartDNA and have installed it in all our branches to protect tellers, customers and ATMs. Based on our experience with this technology, we are confident that DNA solutions could help tighten the security of pharmacies throughout the United States."
DNA anti-crime technology by APDN used by police in Sweden, figured recently in a drug arrest where three criminals were apprehended after handling drugs marked with APDN's DNA by Swedish police outside of Stockholm. It is one of six cases in Sweden where the product has been used by law enforcement since last year.
APDN anti-crime products have now earned praise from US Law enforcement. An officer with the Illinois State Police Midwest Cargo Theft Unit, currently exploring and testing SmartDNA, commented: "We are strongly impressed with the capability of SmartDNA to convict criminals and deter crime. Our unit is exploring use of the product now, and working closely with Applied DNA Sciences to implement it."
The Illinois State Police anti-theft unit is broadly recognized for its use of cutting edge technology in conjunction with highly effective crime-busting strategies.
Dr. Hayward continued: "Our motto of 'Mark. Trace. Convict.' Is now ready for a new extension: 'Deter.' This is exactly the combination we need to protect our pharmacies, their professionals and their customers."
APDN sells patent-protected DNA security solutions to protect products, brands and intellectual property from counterfeiting and diversion. SigNature DNA is a botanical mark used to authenticate products in a unique manner that essentially cannot be copied, and provide a forensic chain of evidence that can be used to prosecute perpetrators. To learn more, go to www.adnas.com where APDN routinely posts all press releases.
The statements made by APDN may be forward-looking in nature. Forward-looking statements describe APDN's future plans, projections, strategies and expectations, and are based on assumptions and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of APDN. Actual results could differ materially from those projected due to our short operating history, limited financial resources, limited market acceptance, market competition and various other factors detailed from time to time in APDN's SEC reports and filings, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed on December 8, 2011 and our subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. APDN undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date hereof to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
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