The dog is the faithful friend and companion of man, but if it is trained, it can also become the ‘headache’ of criminals. This is the story of Hidu, a farmer who rose to fame a few days ago in Mexico for having found pornographic material of a Dutch man who had fled his country accused of child abuse, how did he do it? Here are the details of training him to sniff and detect electronic devices.
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It all started when an anti-trafficking group called Free a Girl, based in Hollandwarned the activists of the American organization Operation Underground Railroad about Jason Matman, a Dutchman who defended having sex with children and had several cases pending for alleged child abuse. He had escaped from the judicial processes pending against him in his country and had taken refuge in the one led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
The follow-up to capture the suspect
Put on alert, the members of the group began to work to locate him using chat rooms and spaces on social networks where he was very active. “We were able to confirm that he was in Mexico and then talk to him (Maatman) in different chat rooms. He told us: ‘I’m in a very dangerous area, I don’t want to give you my address. I don’t want him to come see me, but he can find me at a gas station.’”said Matt Osborne, director of Operation Underground Railroad.
With the help of detectives from the district attorney’s Mexico City They arrested him on June 5 at a bus station near the meeting point. The tall man with reddish hair was carrying a gun and several doses of cocaine, but not the material in digital format involving children. This is where Hidu’s collaboration was requested.
The dog had been trained to detect electronic devices in Indianapolis, Indiana and is a graduate of an academy where they are taught to sniff out triphenylphosphine oxide, or TPPO, the substance used for the chemical coating used on electronic devices such as credit cards. memory and USB, as explained by the news agency Associated Press.
Hidu’s support to find the evidence
When those in charge of the case found Jason Maatman’s house, they knew that the material they were looking for was inside, but that it could be very well hidden. It was there that Hidu took the applause, because she found a mobile phone very well camouflaged in a laundry basket, as Matt Osborne recounted.
After the police obtained a search warrant, this clever dog found more child pornography material attached to a wall under a painting, which was very difficult to identify. Among the disks and devices were about 4 terabytes of child sexual abuse material, prosecutors said.
“Everyone, every internet crime task force could use one of these (dogs)”said Hidu’s trainer, Todd Jordan, who has trained 83 dogs to detect these devices.
The dog had graduated two weeks earlier and this was his first case and “sniffed out a couple of hard drives in some places in his apartment that were hard for humans to find, but he sniffed them out”.
Authorities grateful for their work
Aware of the dog’s involvement, Mexico City Attorney General Ernestina Godoy thanked international organizations and Hidu for helping with the investigation. “The message for those who attack a girl, a boy, an adolescent: in Mexico City there is no room for impunity,” she assured.
While the investigations continue, Jason Maatman will remain in a Mexico City prison, accused of human trafficking and possession of drugs and weapons.