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Fingerprint in WhatsApp photo leads to drug dealers arrest

April 18, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Fingerprint in WhatsApp photo leads to drug dealers arrest Photo: Screenshot/BBC

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WhatsApp photo leads to drug dealer’s arrest in groundbreaking’ case

A new fingerprinting method is being used to convict a drug group after one of the members’ fingerprints was discovered in a message on WhatsApp.

The photo in question is of one of the gang members with ecstasy tablets in his palm. The image was discovered on a phone of someone arrested in Bridgend, Wales, a BBC report revealed.

The evidence was forwarded to the South Wales Police scientific support unit, which helped secure 11 convictions.

Officials believe these are the first convictions in Wales that have been supported by using fingerprints from an image.

Dave Thomas, the Regional Head of Forensic Operations for the South Wales Police, indicated that the new technology is “groundbreaking,” providing new ways to examine the evidence.

A new fingerprint technique is being used to convict a drug gang in the UK after one of the members’ fingerprints was found on a WhatsApp message..

“It is an old-fashioned technique [fingerprinting], not new,” Thomas said. “Beyond everything, we took a phone and looked at everything on it – we knew it had a hand with drugs on it.”

Thomas added: “These guys are using the technology not to get caught and we need to keep up with advancements.”

The drug group was apprehended after a tip directed authorities to a residence in the Kenfig Hill area of Bridgend. The house was searched and copious amounts of “gorilla glue,” a kind of marijuana, was discovered.

Thomas also added that the WhatsApp messages had been going on for months, which included details such as what the dealers wanted to sell, “It had texts such as ‘what do you want to buy?’ on it,” and the one picture that displayed a fingerprint.

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