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Characterization of Algerian-Seized Hashish Over Eight Years (2011-2018). Part I: Physical Categorization.

Authors
  • Boumrah, Yacine1
  • Baroudi, Salem1
  • Kecir, Mohamed1
  • Bouanani, Sabrina1
  • 1 Département de Toxicologie, Institut National de Criminalistique et de Criminologie (INCC-GN), Boite Postale 194, Bouchaoui, Algiers, 16000, Algeria. , (Algeria)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of forensic sciences
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2020
Volume
65
Issue
6
Pages
1835–1844
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.14534
PMID: 32804428
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Data on the physical characteristics of North African hashish are scarce. This article exploits hashish seizure data collected over an 8-year period (2011-2018) in Algeria in order to establish a physical profile of North African hashish. The collected data were subjected to statistical analysis in order to characterize the three main forms in which North African hashish is packaged, namely hashish bags, hashish packets, and hashish units (slab bars). The study revealed that 82% of hashish bags weigh 25 kg that hashish bags are made either as a handbag or as a back bag that they are most often wrapped with woven plastic. Two hashish bag configurations were identified-Bag-Packet-Unit (79%) and Bag-Unit (21%)-and 81% of the total studied bags featured logos. Hashish packets contain the units, which are wrapped with three to five different types of packaging to constitute packets of 0.5 kg (65%) or 1 kg (32%), with two different configurations including 100- or 250-g units. Hashish packets are mainly covered with adhesive tape, and only 18% of them feature inscriptions. Hashish units are found in three different shapes: slab bar (most common), soap bar, and egg-shaped bar. Sixty-five percent of the North African hashish slab bars have a weight of 100 g; other weights are 250 g (20%), 90 g (10%), and 200 g (2%). Most of the 90-100 g units have a light brown color, and 200-250 g units are dark brown in color. Sixty-four percent of hashish units contain logos. Five logo classes were identified: letters (37%), numbers (27%), symbols (23%), animals (11%), and, more recently, "paper logos" at just 2%, exclusively reserved for high-quality hashish and entirely intended for the European market. The findings of this work allow for the establishment of a profiling platform of hashish seizures in this region and can be generalized to all countries that report this region as the primary source of seized hashish within their territory. © 2020 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

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