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Vehicle document forgery

February 1, 2012

The Column

The Column, The Column-02-01-2012, Volume 8, Issue 2
Page Number: 9

The forging of vehicle registration documents has seen a sharp rise in recent years, with the issue being particularly problematic in Brazil.

The forging of vehicle registration documents has seen a sharp rise in recent years, with the issue being particularly problematic in Brazil.

A study has been carried out using easy ambient sonic-spray ionization mass spectrometry (EASI–MS) to analyse the documents of Brazilian vehicles for authenticity. This cleverly creates a chemical profile directly from the surface of each document.1

The team analysed 40 authentic and counterfeit documents using both positive and negative ion modes, EASI (±)–MS. They identified the presence of (bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate plasticizer and of dihexadecyldimethylammonium biocide in both types of documents. For EASI(−)–MS results, the 4-octyloxybenzoic acid additive ([M + H]+ : m/z 249) was found only in counterfeit documents.

The team was also able to link the forged documents to the type of printers that were being used to produce them and concluded that Laserjet printers were most likely being used.

They concluded that the presence of a peak at m/z 249 in the negative ion EASI(−)–MS of a vehicle document was an excellent way to characterize the counterfeiting methods being utilized.

1 Eberlin et al., Journal of Forensic Sciences, DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.02005.x (2012).

This story originally appeared in The Column. Click here to view that issue.