THE machine gun killing of a man in an Edinburgh street, and the Mikaeel Kular hunt are the most expensive investigations undertaken by the new Scottish police force.
The shocking killing saw 25-year-old Mohammed Abdi gunned down by rival Somalian drug dealers following a late night car chase.
Mohamud Mohamud, 30, Cadil Huseen, 23, and Hussein Ali, 26, are are facing life sentences later this month after admitting to the murder.
Now Police Scotland have revealed that the complex probe into the shooting cost £323,486.
Det Ch Supt Gary Flannigan, of the Specialist Crime Division, said the investigation which took place into the murder last May had used telephone records, CCTV footage, forensic science and eye-witness testimony to trace those suspected of the crime.
The figure, revealed under freedom of information legislation, includes police overtime costs but not normal duty spending.
It tops the list of the most expensive investigations since the formation of the single police force in April last year.
The second most costly was the £197,803 spent on the probe into the disappearance of three-year-old Mikaael Kular in Edinburgh earlier this year.
The toddler’s body was discovered in woodland in Fife following an extensive search. His mother Rosedeep Kular, 33, has been charged with his murder.
Officers have ran up a bill of £152,149 in the hunt for the killer of Jean Campbell in Glasgow last December.
The 53-year-old mother-of-two was murdered while walking her dog in a park near her home in the city’s Cranhill area.
No one has been charged over her death despite extensive appeals including two on the BBC Crimewatch programme.
Graeme Pearson MSP, Labour’s justice spokesman and a former senior policeman, said the figures show the affect horrific crimes had on the public purse as well as victims’ families.
He said: “The costs in a murder investigation all add up and that is before you include court and imprisonment costs.
“I had a rough measure during my time as head of crime in Strathclyde that a domestic fairly straightforward enquiry would cost around £200,000. A ‘whodunit’ around a million.
“Add also the emotional damage done to families and friends affected by these crimes, damage that many don’t overcome, and you realise the excessive and unseen costs created by crime.”
He added: “Families affected by homocide should have a dedicated support service to assist as best can be, people trying to cope with the overwhelming pressures associated with murder particularly.
“It makes sense both in terms of humanity but also economic sense if we are to enable some of these families to open a new chapter in their lives for the future.
“Scotland has no tailored service for the less than 100 or so families affected each year by a homicide.”
Other expensive enquiries included the murder of Phyliss Dunleavy in Edinburgh last year which cost £73,444.
The 66-year-old was killed by her son James, 39, who buried her dismembered body in a shallow grave.
After her remains were discovered on Corstorphine Hill, police launched Operation Sandpiper, appealing for help to identify the body.
CT scans of Mrs Dunleavy’s skull, combined with computer technology, enabled Dundee University’s craniofacial expert Dr Caroline Wilkinson to produce a likeness of the dead woman.
Police Scotland also spent £52,361 on a fresh probe into the unsolved murder of banker Alistair Wilson.
He was gunned down on the doorstep of his home in Nairn in November, 2004, sparking a massive manhunt.
However, his killer has never been brought to justice and the killing remains a mystery.
Last year, new images of the handgun used in the shooting were released along with an appeal for information.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “The total costs relating to a murder/major investigation and the number of man hours involved are difficult to quantify.
“The only information that is routinely calculated and accurate relating to a murder investigation is overtime.”