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9.4.11  Investigative Services

Manual Transmittal

September 16, 2011


(1) This transmits revised IRM 9.4.11, Investigative Services.

Material Changes

(1) Subsection (Overview) is revised to accurately reflect the investigative services discussed in the section.

(2) Subsections through are revised to clarify the structure and responsibilities of the Forensics Laboratory (CI:OPS:F).

(3) Subsections through (Electronic Crimes through Data Processing Centers) are “Reserved”. The Electronic Crimes and Data-Processing Center’s subsections are reserved until final decisions are made on the two areas mission, structure, and processes.

(4) Subsections through are revised to accurately reflect the resources available to CI field offices to support the investigative process.

(5) Subsection item (k) is added to state that the Tax Fraud Investigative Assistant (TFIA) may participate in IRS affiant search warrants with the SAC’s approval; additionally, the TFIA’s role must be clearly defined in the Plan of Action and Risk Assessment Guide. These procedures were effective March 18, 2009, pursuant to interim guidance issued by the Director, Operations Policy and Support, Criminal Investigation (see “Effects on Other Documents” below).

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 9.4.11 dated 12-01-2006. This IRM also incorporates procedure(s) implemented by the Director, Operations Policy and Support's memorandum dated March 18, 2009, [Subject: “TFIA Participation in Search Warrants”].



Effective Date


Terry Stuart FOR Victor S. O. Song
Chief, Criminal Investigation  (09-16-2011)

  1. This section relates to the investigative services available within Criminal Investigation (CI) to provide special agents assistance in conducting criminal investigations and associated litigation activities. The sources providing investigative services include the following:

    1. Forensic Laboratory

    2. Electronics Crimes

    3. Field Office Resources, including: Investigative Analyst; Tax Fraud Investigative Assistant; and Compliance Support Assistant

    4. Lead Development Centers

    5. Data Processing Center  (09-16-2011)
Forensic Laboratory

  1. The Forensic Laboratory (CI:OPS:F) (commonly known as or referred to as the National Forensics Lab (NFL) , is a section under Operations, Policy and Support, Criminal Investigation (CI:OPS). The NFL is comprised of separate and distinct groups each of which offers services relating to evidence gathered in the course of an investigation:

    1. The NFL section is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois with additional document examiners located in various cities across the nation.

    2. The Trial Illustration group is headquartered in Florence, Kentucky.

  2. Each of these groups offers distinct services relating to evidence gathered in the course of an investigation. The NFL maintains up-to-date information and contact telephone numbers and mailing addresses on CI Connections on the Forensic Lab and CASE Web pages. The Forensic Lab and the CASE Web pages should be reviewed for additional information that may be utilized during investigations. The following subsections will briefly describe the individual teams within the NFL and the services provided by each team. The subsections also detail how to request and obtain services provided by the NFL.  (09-16-2011)
Forensic Laboratory Teams

  1. There are seven teams, which make up the groups located in Chicago. There is useful information on the Forensic Lab and Case Web pages that should be reviewed early on in an investigation to determine if the NFL may be useful. The teams within the NFL are listed below:

    1. Electronics Team

    2. Imaging Team

    3. Ink and Paper Chemistry Team

    4. Latent Print Team

    5. Questioned Document Team

    6. Polygraph Team

    7. Evidence Control Team  (09-16-2011)
Electronics Team

  1. The Electronics Team provides intelligibility enhancement of audio recordings and enhancements to the video and audio quality of video tapes. The team is also capable of converting analog recordings to digital format.  (09-16-2011)
Imaging Team

  1. The Imaging Team provides support to the field by processing film, providing negatives and photographs in varying sizes. The team is capable of providing digital prints and CDs from negatives and quality digital prints from digital files. They also produce enlargements for courtroom presentations.  (09-16-2011)
Ink and Paper Chemistry Team

  1. The Ink and Paper Chemistry Team detects and deciphers alterations, compares and dates writing inks and papers, and develops writing indented on documents.


    It is very important not to add any indentations to the questioned documents during their collection, handling, or shipping. The documents should be put in plastic sleeves or document protectors for handling. Never place other papers on top of the evidence and then write on them. The transmittal envelope should be addressed before the documents are placed inside.  (09-16-2011)
Latent Print Team

  1. The Latent Print Team processes evidence and compares latent fingerprints and palm prints found on evidence with fingerprint and palm print cards of a suspect/subject/witness. The use of new techniques has enabled the development of previously undetectable prints. The Latent Print Team can search unidentified latent prints through computerized fingerprint databases throughout the country. Review the Forensic Lab and CASE Web pages for additional technical information.

  2. When a suspect/subject/witness is brought in to provide handwriting exemplars and/or to be photographed, special agents should also obtain fingerprints and palm prints of the suspect/subject/witness, and submit them with the evidence to be examined.

    1. A full set of prints consists of fingerprint and palm prints, including the area referred to as the "writer's palm”. The writer's palm is that area on the side of the palm which normally rests on the paper when writing.

    2. Fingerprints should be taken on Form FD-249, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Teamed States Department of Justice (DOJ). Form FD-249, with the Field Office’s Originating Agency Identifying (ORI) Number, may be obtained directly from the FBI. For information on how to order Forms FD-249, call the Latent Print Team. Palm prints should be taken on Form 9040, Palm Print Card. This Form is available as an internal form. For details on how to obtain the form, call the Latent Print Team. Document 7190, Method for Transferring and Recording Inked Palm Prints, contains instructions on how to take palm prints. The instruction booklet may be acquired directly from the Latent Print Team.

    3. Fingerprints and palm prints are also taken by a method called live-scan or direct electronic fingerprinting/palm printing. This method records prints digitally in a computer after fingerprints/palm prints are rolled on a piece of glass of a computer-driven scanner. The prints taken in this manner are currently not quite as good as the old–fashioned ink method; however, they are usually acceptable.

    4. If an agent is unable to roll the suspect/subject/witness’s prints, fingerprints may be obtained from a State Identification Bureau or the FBI Identification Division, if the person has been arrested by a state or local authority. The FBI or State ID number of an individual with a criminal history may be found in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). This number is necessary for ordering purposes. If the special agent cannot secure known prints, the Latent Print Team will attempt to locate a set of known prints. When using the services of the Latent Print Team to obtain a set of prints, special agents must provide the person’s FBI or State ID number. If the agent is unable to provide a FBI or State identification number, the agent must provide the full name, date of birth, and social security number of the person on whom prints are to be obtained.

    5. Although a set of fingerprints might be considered classifiable, that does not mean they are fully comparable or identifiable to latent fingerprints.

    6. The utmost care should be used to ensure that suspects/subjects/witnesses do not handle any original documents relating to the investigation during interviews, etc. This would negate any subsequent examination for latent prints on those documents. If it is appropriate to preserve the evidence for examination, the evidence should be placed in document protectors before it is shown to the suspects/subjects/witnesses.  (09-16-2011)
Questioned Document Team

  1. The Questioned Document Team conducts examinations and comparisons of handwriting, hand printing, and numerals. Document examiners also examine and compare mechanical impressions from typewriters, impact printers, rubber stamps, and check writers.

  2. Exemplars should be obtained whenever special agents become aware that the authenticity or origin of a document may be questioned. It is critical that special agents obtain original known exemplars before submitting a request. The results of the examinations performed by the Lab depend largely on the quality of the known writing that is submitted for comparison.  (09-16-2011)
Types of Exemplars

  1. There are two types of exemplars: requested and collected. Whenever possible, both types should be submitted.  (09-16-2011)
Requested Exemplars (Known Writing Exemplars)

  1. Requested exemplars contain repetitions of all of the letters and letter combinations that are present in the text of the questioned documents.

  2. Requested exemplars are gathered during the course of an investigation as a result of a request, summons, or subpoena of the suspected writer.

  3. A summons or a subpoena may be issued to a suspect/subject/witness for the purpose of providing handwriting exemplars. Compulsion of handwriting exemplars is neither a search nor seizure subject to Fourth Amendment protections, nor testimonial evidence protected by the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Serving a summons on a suspect/subject/witness for the purpose of taking exemplars is within the authority of 26 USC §7602. This action does not violate the Fifth Amendment rights of a suspect/subject/witness, or policies established by Congress because handwriting exemplars are deemed identifying physical characteristics. The CASE Web page under Forensic Lab/Questioned Docs/Ink (“Best Practice”) should be reviewed.  (09-16-2011)
Collected Exemplars

  1. Collected exemplars consist of normal course-of-business records such as personal papers, canceled checks, rent applications, receipts, school documents, etc. Collected exemplars are naturally written (no disguise) and they are an excellent source of known writing when comparing signatures.  (09-16-2011)
Handwriting, Handprinting, and Numeral Exemplars for Comparison by the Questioned Documents Team

  1. Special agents should contact the Questioned Document Team prior to obtaining exemplars. Special agents should use the following guidelines when obtaining exemplars:

    1. Exemplars should be original documents known to have been written by the person suspected of writing the questioned document.

    2. Exemplars should contain repetitions of all of the letters and letter combinations that are present in the text of the questioned documents.

    3. Exemplars should approximate the questioned writing conditions (i.e., if handwritten, get known handwriting; if upper-case hand printed, get known upper-case hand printing, etc.).

    4. Exemplars should be made with a similar writing instrument, on similar paper, and should include, as nearly as possible, the full text of the questioned document.

  2. In addition to getting exemplars containing comparable repetitions of the questioned text, special agents should use Form 6540, Handwriting or Handprinting Exemplars (see Document Manager) or in the alternative Form 6450 SP, Handwriting or Handprinting Exemplars for Spanish speaking suspects/subjects/witnesses (see Document Manager) to obtain a general sample of an individual's writing.  (09-16-2011)
Mechanical Impression Comparisons

  1. The questioned document examiners conduct examinations and comparisons of mechanical impressions, including typewriter impressions, rubber stamp impressions and check writer impressions. Identifications are based on individual defects usually caused by wear or damage.  (09-16-2011)
Typewriter Exemplars

  1. In some instances, it is necessary to take exemplars from a typewriter. These exemplars should be submitted along with the questioned typewritten documents. Special agents should use the following guidelines when obtaining typewritten exemplars:

    1. If the machine is equipped with a readable carbon ribbon, the ribbon should be removed, protected, and submitted to the Questioned Document Team. The Questioned Document Team (through the use of an instrument called a Ribbon Analysis Workstation) has the capability of transcribing the text found on readable carbon ribbons.  (09-16-2011)
Printer Exemplars

  1. Impact printers should be treated the same as typewriters (see subsection When laser or ink jet printers are involved, however, the Questioned Document Team should be contacted before an exemplar is taken and submitted for examination.  (09-16-2011)
Check Writer Exemplars

  1. It is best to submit the entire check writer instrument to the laboratory for examination. As an alternative, the exemplars taken from a known check writer should contain strike-ups of all of the characters on the machine, as well as a minimum of two exemplars of each questioned amount on the corresponding questioned documents. In the examination request special agents should submit the make, model, and serial number of the machine.  (09-16-2011)
Rubber Stamp Exemplars

  1. If available, the entire known rubber stamp should be submitted along with the questioned documents bearing rubber stamp impressions. The document examiner will examine the rubber stamp before producing exemplary impressions. No attempt should be made to clean the rubber stamp before submitting it to the laboratory.  (09-16-2011)
Charred Documents

  1. Charred or burned documents may be examined and photographed with the aid of various light sources. Many times what is not visible under ordinary light may be deciphered and recorded using specialized light sources. Charred or burned documents should be placed in protective packaging and submitted, as soon as possible to the laboratory. Special agents should contact the laboratory for specific instructions and guidance before handling charred or burned paper evidence.  (09-16-2011)
Torn Paper

  1. Torn paper evidence should not be taped or glued together prior to submission to the laboratory. The document examiner will examine the characteristics of the torn edges before restoring the document to its original arrangement. In some cases torn portions of the same document are found in different places establishing a link in an investigation. The examiner may prove that two or more pieces of a document were at one time part of the same document by conducting an examination and comparison of the characteristics along the torn edges of the document pieces.


    The Questioned Documents Team does not reassemble shredded documents.  (09-16-2011)
Polygraph Team

  1. The Polygraph Team conducts examinations to test credibility issues which may arise before, during, or after the completion of an investigation.

  2. The Polygraph Team also evaluates examinations conducted by operators outside the IRS.  (09-16-2011)
Suitability of a Polygraph Examination

  1. A polygraph examination may be used to determine the reliability of information provided by informants, subjects, witnesses, and cooperating defendants. A polygraph examination may also be conducted pursuant to a plea agreement in order to determine if the defendant is cooperating fully with the government.

  2. A polygraph examination should be used selectively as an investigative tool. A qualified polygraph examiner should be directly consulted by the special agent whenever a polygraph is being considered. A qualified examiner is trained to evaluate the suitability of the polygraph technique as requested by the special agent.  (09-16-2011)
Legal Admissibility of the Results of a Polygraph

  1. The legal admissibility of the results of a test (deception indicated, no deception indicated, inconclusive, or no opinion) varies by jurisdiction. However, statements, admissions, and confessions obtained during the examination process are generally admissible in court.  (09-16-2011)
Evidence Control Team

  1. The Evidence Control Team (ECT) receives all requests for the NFL and tracks these requests as they move through the various teams. The ECT is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the evidence when it comes in and leaves the laboratory.  (09-16-2011)
How to Request Services of the Forensic Laboratory

  1. Special agents should initiate requests for NFL services by using Form 13437, National Forensic Laboratory Request for Service (see Document Manager). The Form must be signed by the special agent and must include the investigation number, investigation name, whether or not the investigation is a Grand Jury investigation, whether or not the investigation is classified as Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), the requestor’s name, address and telephone number and a brief synopsis of the investigation.

  2. All evidence submitted for examination should be original evidence. Special agents should keep copies of the original evidence submitted to the NFL.

  3. Evidence submitted should be listed, described in detail, and sealed. The requesting special agent should provide a concise narrative describing the examination or service needed. If an expedited examination is needed, the special agent should briefly describe the exigency of the situation, such as a pending trial date. Special agents should call and advise the team in advance of an exigent request.


    Evidence should be sealed and packaged separate from the request Form 13437. All evidence should be submitted in sealed packages. Evidence should be sealed separately from the request form, with the known evidence and the questioned evidence in separate packages. Plastic document protectors or plastic bags are recommended. All evidence should be secured from the time the evidence is obtained through the course of the investigation. Before submitting evidence to the laboratory, the CASE Web page under Forensic Lab/Evidence Control should be reviewed. Use an overnight carrier to ensure proper chain of custody for the evidence.

  4. Requests for services from any of the NFL teams should be sent to the following address:

    Director, Forensics Laboratory
    Internal Revenue Service
    Criminal Investigation Division
    29 N. Wacker Dr., 3rd Floor
    Chicago, Illinois 60606

  5. Special agents should submit the request for services and the evidence as soon as they realize their investigation may benefit from the services offered by the NFL. All requests on Form 13437 must be approved by the Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) of the special agent requesting NFL services.  (09-16-2011)
Oral Request

  1. If an expedited examination is required, an oral request may be made by the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the requesting field office to the Director, Forensics Laboratory. A written request signed by the SAC of the requesting field office must follow within five business days.  (09-16-2011)
Request for Use of a Non-IRS Laboratory

  1. In situations where the use of a non-IRS laboratory is being considered, the SAC of the requesting field office must contact the Director, CI:OPS:F. The Director, Office of Forensics will assess the necessity of using an outside facility and make recommendations to the SAC of the requesting field office.  (09-16-2011)
Role of the Examiners

  1. Examiners prepare reports based on their examinations and conclusions. They are available to testify in court or other judicial proceedings regarding their conclusions.  (09-16-2011)
Travel by the Examiners

  1. In situations where it is necessary for examiners to travel to a field office to perform on-site examinations and/or consultations, travel must be coordinated with the specific team in the NFL. The examiners are also available to travel to the field offices for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) presentations.

  2. Requests for travel by NFL examiners to perform on-site examinations should be submitted on Form 13437 as specified (see IRM Requests for examiners to participate in CPE presentations should be made in writing (either memorandum or e-mail) by the SAC to the Director, CI:OPS:F. See IRM for the address.

  3. The cost of the services provided by the NFL is not charged to the requesting field office. The cost of NFL services may be charged to the defendant if the judge orders the defendant to pay court costs.  (09-16-2011)
Evaluation of Services

  1. Special agents are asked to complete Form 13436, Office of Forensics Evaluation of Services (see Document Manager), within 10 business days after they receive their evidence and report. The evaluation will enable the NFL to maintain quality services and keep apprised of the field offices needs. Special agents should use the pre-addressed envelope supplied with their report to mail the completed form to the Director, Forensics Laboratory.  (09-16-2011)
Services Provided by the Trial Illustration Group

  1. The Trial Illustration Group provides graphics for trials involving criminal tax, money laundering, and other violations over which IRS has jurisdiction. The visual exhibits are available in varying formats such as large scale charts (40 x 60 inches), computer generated charts for electronic presentations, and handouts.

  2. In addition to tax computations and supporting schedules, the trial illustrators may prepare and design flow diagrams, time-lines, link analyses, bar graphs, pie graphs, and maps. They often use methods such as overlays and velcro to progressively display information as evidence is introduced during a trial. Element charts are also very helpful in depicting the violations of Titles 18, 26, and 31 of the Teamed States Code. An automated Portfolio of examples is currently available for viewing on the Case Web page under the Forensic Lab/ Trial Illustration Group’s “go-bys”.

  3. The Trial Illustration Group may also provide figures for the cost of prosecution (i.e., staff hours, supply costs, mailing costs, and per diem for travel).

  4. Special agents must submit Form 13437, requesting the services of Trial Illustration at least 30 days in advance of the scheduled trial date or 45 days in advance if requesting on-site consultation. Form 13437 can be found in Document Manager. The address of the Trial Illustration Group is as follows:

    Group Manager , Trial Illustration Group
    Internal Revenue Service
    Criminal Investigation Division
    7940 Kentucky Dr., Stop 851
    Florence, Kentucky 41042  (09-16-2011)
Electronic Crimes Program

  1. RESERVED  (09-16-2011)
Investigative Analyst

  1. The Investigative Analyst (IA) assists in the identification of noncompliance with tax laws and supports ongoing criminal investigations by researching, collecting, analyzing, and evaluating raw data. The IA is available to support any investigation in the field office. The IA should preferably be a member of the SAC’s staff.

  2. The IA is responsible for the following activities:

    1. production and dissemination of reports

    2. determination of the relationships of financial and other data

    3. completion of research assignments

    4. evaluation of available information relating to tax noncompliance  (09-16-2011)
When to Request

  1. Special agents may request the assistance of the IA at any time during the investigation. When a special agent encounters a name, individual, or company, and would like some research on the entity, the special agent should request the assistance of the IA at that time through his/her SSA.  (09-16-2011)
Services Provided by the Investigative Analyst

  1. An IA provides the following functions:

    1. Assists in the development of profile data and investigation selection techniques to enable special agents to more efficiently conduct their investigation.

    2. Researches various databases and collects, develops, and disseminates information relating to violations of tax, money laundering, and other laws under the jurisdiction of CI.

    3. Prepares or participates in the preparation of strategic enforcement trend analyses and forecasts needed by management for policy planning and resource allocation.

    4. Correlates collected information by manipulating and evaluating available data to identify all possible sources of information that will substantiate or refute information presently on hand. The sources of information include complex investigative reports, information available from or promulgated by other Federal and local law enforcement agencies, Treasury Enforcement Communication System (TECS) and information contained in data that is available from other informational data bases such as National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs Information System (NADDIS).

    5. Analyzes collected information to produce a more complete picture of tax-related activities and to support criminal investigations currently underway.

    6. Prepares statistical and narrative reports and assembles strategic and tactical reports concerning organized crime, money laundering and tax shelters/havens, for various task forces and other special projects of similar entities/organizations.

    7. Performs other related services as approved by field office management.  (09-16-2011)
Request for Investigative Analyst Assistance

  1. To request the services of an Investigative Analyst, special agents should prepare Form 11207, Investigative Analyst Request for Assistance (see Document Manager). The SSA of the requesting special agent will approve the request and forward it to the SAC. These procedures may be modified by the SAC in each field office as appropriate to meet operational needs.  (09-16-2011)
Tax Fraud Investigative Assistant

  1. A Tax Fraud Investigative Assistant (TFIA) provides technical support to special agents. The TFIA regularly operates various types of communications equipment and serves as the central communications point for the field office and subordinate offices.  (09-16-2011)
Group Resource

  1. The TFIA is assigned to a specific work group in the field office. The TFIA is available to support any investigation within the work group.  (09-16-2011)
When to Request

  1. Special agents may request the assistance of a TFIA anytime during an investigation. Special agents should consider requesting the services of a TFIA whenever the services provided will save time.  (09-16-2011)
Services Provided by a Tax Fraud Investigative Assistant

  1. A TFIA provides a variety of services. The list of possible services performed by a TFIA includes, but is not limited to, the following functions:

    1. serves summonses and subpoenas

    2. assists in preparing search warrants using applicable software

    3. serves as a witness-corroborator during interviews with principals or third parties

    4. plans and conducts collateral investigations deemed complex and prepares collateral requests and responses

    5. assembles investigation files and reports by mounting exhibits/evidence, proofreading to ensure that cited documents are present and numbered consecutively with references made in factual statements; and assembles and packages evidence

    6. researches internal and external investigative databases, public records, banks, brokerage houses, etc.; develops specialized information from research results for special agents using word processing, spread sheets, or graphic software

    7. gathers data and conducts limited inquires on primary investigation or general investigation assignments

    8. assists special agents with trial preparation by reviewing testimony of witnesses; indexing data and preparing analyses of evidence and supporting documentation to be presented during trial; locating, transporting, and coordinating appearances of witnesses; and helping with visual aids

    9. assists in forfeiture activities including inventory control and completion of forfeiture forms

    10. maintains an inventory of investigative equipment and schedules maintenances and repairs on equipment and automobiles

    11. participate in IRS affiant search warrants with the SAC’s approval; the TFIA’s role must be clearly defined in the Plan of Action and Risk Assessment Guide (see IRM 9.4.9)  (09-16-2011)
Request for Tax Fraud Investigative Assistant Assistance

  1. To request the services of a TFIA, special agents should prepare Form 11209, Tax Fraud Investigative Assistant Request for Assistance (see Document Manager). The SSA will review and approve the request, as appropriate. These procedures may be modified by the SSA as appropriate to meet the field offices operational needs.  (09-16-2011)
Compliance Support Assistant

  1. The Compliance Support Assistant (CSA) provides clerical and program assistance, to a work group of special agents in a CI field office.  (09-16-2011)
Group Resource

  1. The CSAs may be centrally managed by the SAC or an ASAC, or may be assigned to a specific work group in a field office. Each CSA provides support to more than one group.

  2. The CSA duties and support are normally limited to the office environment. A CSA is not authorized to perform field investigation work typically performed by TFIAs.  (09-16-2011)
When to Request

  1. Special agents may request the assistance of a CSA anytime during an investigation or when help is needed. Special agents should consider requesting the services of a CSA whenever the services will result in more efficient use of CI's resources.  (09-16-2011)
Services Provided by a Compliance Support Assistant

  1. A CSA provides a variety of services. The list of possible services performed by a CSA includes, but is not limited to, the following functions:

    1. Performs complex research in support of ongoing investigations and gathers, extracts, and compiles information from a variety of sources. These sources include internal and external investigative databases and the internet.

    2. Assists as directed in verifying accounting records; extracting information from books and records; interviewing informants or witnesses; administering handwriting and handprinting exemplars; preparing related reports, correspondence, and other documents; and serves as corroborator/witness during interviews with principals or third parties.

    3. Selects and uses small computer applications for presentation of word processing, database, and spreadsheet tools to meet users' needs.

    4. Assembles investigation files and reports into prescribed formats, ensuring that all required or related materials have been included.

    5. Inputs CIMIS updates; assists in the maintenance of Criminal Investigation Equipment Control System (CIECS); requisitions tax returns using IDRS; maintains the tax return inventory; and oversees the maintenance of office files.  (09-16-2011)
Request for Compliance Support Assistant Assistance

  1. To request the services of a CSA, special agents should coordinate the assistance of the CSA through their CSA’s immediate supervisor.  (09-16-2011)
Lead Development Centers


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