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AGI detects Ghostly Numbers

posted on May 30, 2018 / IN Forensic Investigation /

Introduction

vehicle identification number (VIN) is a unique alphanumeric code stamped in the vehicle during its manufacturing for the identification purpose.

In March 2018, the AGI Team was appointed for the verification of VIN for a vehicle, which had been stolen earlier. The Team conducted the adapted chemical etching technique and powder lifting for the verification.

The VIN, stamped at location L1, did not match with the chassis number registered in the vehicle registration card.

After eleven (11) cycles of the etching procedures at L1, hidden numbers or letters (ghost marks) were revealed behind the originally observed alphanumeric characters. The appearance of the impression was further observed from the powder lifted chassis number.

Observation after Chemical Etching

Sr. No. 1
Number visible before Chemical Etching
Appearance of Ghost Marks after Chemical Etching
Appearance of curved stroke on the upper side followed by the slanting stroke in middle and a horizontal stroke towards the bottom resembling the number ‘2’, overlapped by number ‘0’
Sr. No. 2
Number visible before Chemical Etching
Appearance of Ghost Marks after Chemical Etching
Appearance of curved stroke on the upper side followed by the slanting stroke in middle and a horizontal stroke towards the bottom resembling the number ‘2’, overlapped by number ‘9’
Sr. No. 3
Number visible before Chemical Etching
Appearance of Ghost Marks after Chemical Etching
Appearance of curved stroke on the upper side followed by the slanting stroke in middle and a horizontal stroke towards the bottom resembling the number ‘2’, overlapped by number ‘5’
Sr. No. 4
Number visible before Chemical Etching
Appearance of Ghost Marks after Chemical Etching
The number ‘9’ appeared behind the observed number ‘4’
Sr. No. 5
Number visible before Chemical Etching
Appearance of Ghost Marks after Chemical Etching
The number ‘5’ appeared behind the observed number ‘9’

Conclusion

Based on the physical examination and chemical etching, it was conclusive that the chassis number had been tampered with and/or altered. The impression ghost marks observed were found to be parts of the previous original alphanumeric characters recorded in the registration card.

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