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Wed 30 Sep 2009 01:25 AM

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Meeting to discuss UAE national DNA database - paper

Database could include samples taken from all of the UAE's population including locals, expats.

Police and forensics experts from across the UAE are meeting in Sharjah to discuss the idea of setting up a national database that could include samples from all UAE residents.

Dr Ahmed Marzooqi, chairman of the Emirates DNA Working Group, acknowledged the project could take a decade, however, the National reported on Tuesday.

Back in October 2008 the UAE became the first country in the Arab world to join the Interpol global DNA gateway.

An agreement with the international police organisation allowed security agencies in the region to access the DNA profiles of more than 70,000 suspects in what was hailed as a major boost in fighting crime in the UAE.

Currently, DNA samples are taken only from convicted criminals or suspects.

''What we would like is to start thinking about taking samples from all of the UAE population, local and expatriate,'' said Dr Ahmed Marzooqi, chairman of the Emirates DNA Working Group, the newspaper added.

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