The Analysis of Illicit Methaqualone Containing Preparations by Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry for Forensic Purposes


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Mrs. Alida Amelia Grové, B.Sc. Hons.
Forensic Chemistry Laboratory
Department of Health
Private Bag X282
Pretoria 0002
Republic of South Africa


ABSTRACT: A validated gas chromatographic–mass spectrometric method for quantitative analysis of methaqualone (MTQ) in illicit preparations is reported. The method proved to have a coefficient of variation of below 5%. Four batches of seized tablets, two pairs with similar imprints, were analyzed. It was found that the average MTQ concentration in all four batches of tablets differed significantly (p=0.01) rendering it impossible to conclude that, on the basis of MTQ concentration alone, the batches with a similar logo originated from the same manufacturer or manufacturing batch. Conversely, it can be said that in this case, the four batches originated from either different clandestine laboratories or manufacturing batches.