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How Police Traced, Arrested Drug Dealer Through his Finger print from an Old WhatsApp Photo

Luck ran out of a drug dealer who was arrested by police officers in South Wales, through the dealer’s fingerprints from an old WhatsApp photo.

A report from BBC, has it that the fingerprint helped secure 11 drug-trafficking convictions, which are believed to be the first convictions in Wales to come from a photograph.

While speaking to BBC on the arrest, the South Wales police officer Dave Thomas, said;

“Ultimately, beyond everything else, we took a phone and looked at everything on it – we knew it had a hand with drugs on it.These guys [the dealers] are using the technology not to get caught and we need to keep up with advancements.”

The report revealed that the drug dealer had sent the photograph, which contained a number of pills, to his customers through WhatsApp. While his direct fingerprint was not visible in the picture, the middle and bottom of a finger were, and that was enough evidence to use against him.

It was learnt that the authorities were able to download the photo and messages from his phone. While WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption feature makes it difficult to access photos and messages remotely, officials could access these files through the senders’ or recipients’ devices.

Thomas, said;

“While the scale and quality of the photograph proved a challenge, the small bits were enough to prove he was the dealer.It has now opened the floodgates and when there is part of a hand on a photograph, officers are sending them in.These are all advancements in the digital world – they provide lots of questions we need to provide answers for.”

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