After all we’ve heard in the past month about online invasion of privacy, hacking, trolling, stealing data, who in their right mind would post a photo of their hands holding drugs for sale on their WhatsApp account?
According to the BBC, that’s what happened in Wales when the cops traced three members of a family-run drug ring using fingerprints seen in a photograph sent over WhatsApp.
An image of a man holding ecstasy tablets in his palm was found on the mobile phone of someone arrested in Bridgend, Wales.
The image was sent to South Wales Police's scientific support unit, which uploaded it into its database. However since only parts of two fingers were visible in the photo, they didn’t find a match with others in their database.
Still, the investigating officers used other bits of information they had to link the photo of the person they believed was behind the drug operation.
Once they apprehended him, the fingerprints in the photo could be matched with the full fingerprint of the drug dealer.
"While the scale and quality of the photograph proved a challenge, the small bits were enough to prove he was the dealer," Officer Dave Thomas told the BBC.
"It has now opened the floodgates and when there is part of a hand on a photograph, officers are sending them in."
Law enforcement officers in Wales say that the pioneering fingerprint technique "is the future" of how police can approach evidence to catch criminals.
Officer Thomas said he hopes to put technology to greater use and that evidence found on cell phones can help to catch criminals.
This is the first drug arrest of its kind for Wales.