Maatman probably thought that empty Mexican law enforcement would allow him to operate freely in Mexico. But he didn’t count on Hidu, the electronic sniffer dog.
MEXICO CITY, Mexico – An unusual union of international activist groups, Mexican prosecutors and a dog trained to sniff memory devices have joined forces this month in Mexico City to catch a high-profile suspected pedophile.
First, the Dutch anti-trafficking group Free a Girl told activists from the US-based Underground Railway that Dutchman Jason Maatman, who openly advocated sexual intercourse with children, had fled the case to Mexico. In the Netherlands.
Maatman probably thought that empty Mexican law enforcement would allow him to operate freely in Mexico, an expanding metropolis of 21 million where most crimes go unpunished.
However, he did not believe Hidu, a new graduate of the dog academy, who taught dogs to smell triphenylphosphate or TPPO, a chemical coating used in electronic devices such as flash drives and memory cards.
“Three weeks ago, we learned that Nelson M. looks active in Mexico and poses a serious threat to children,” said Evelien Hölsken, director of Free Girl. He said the group had contacted Operation Underground Railway and asked if it could begin an investigation.
Maatman was apparently so confident that he spoke openly about his online activities. However, Mexican prosecutors were willing to work with non-governmental organizations.
The Underground Rail Operation quickly devised a plan to trap Maatman, using chat rooms and social media spaces where he was active.
“We were able to confirm that he was in Mexico and then talked to him in different chat rooms. He said: “I am in a really dangerous ruined area. I do not want to give you the address. I don’t want you to come see me, but you can come to the gas station and meet me, ”said Matt Osborne, the group’s director of global operations.
Detectives from the Mexico City Attorney’s Office were waiting for Maatman to appear on June 5 at a bus station near a gas station on the edge of the city’s main park.
Prosecutor Ernestina Godoy said a pistol and several doses of cocaine were found in Maatman.
Maatman is being held in a Mexican prison on charges of human trafficking, drug possession and possession of weapons. He has no lawyer or comment.
Osborne said, “Our understanding was that he was getting offers from other people who wanted to do business with him, probably to sell a lot of sexually explicit material involving young children, or to make money.” “He said he needed the money.”
The problem was that he was not at home, but at the bus stop, and no one knew where he lived. No one knew where he could hide any child sexual abuse material, usually stored in digital form.
City prosecutors used a network of street surveillance cameras to track Maatman’s movements to a rented apartment on the rough east side of the city. The tall, red-haired Dutchman attracted attention in the area.
As soon as the police decided to search, Hidu entered; black lab, he was trained by Todd Jordan at the Jordan Detection K9 Academy in Indiana, Indianapolis.
TPPO is a chemical used in small, solid-state memory devices to prevent overheating. Dogs smell different enough to find it.
Jordan began by training “accelerator detection” dogs, looking for evidence of possible burns to which an accelerator – such as gasoline – could be used to start a fire.
But the electronics dogs he taught – now 83 years old – are in high demand as criminals now use flash drives to store everything from contacts to cryptocurrencies used in drug deals.
“I think electronics dogs have overtaken accelerator dogs because they are needed and because of the current state of the world,” Jordan said. “These dogs, I mean, anyone, any internet crime working group can use one of these.”
Hidu was fresh at work; he had just graduated two weeks ago, and this was his first job – in fact, it was his first overseas job managed by any of the Jordanian dogs.
OUR Hidu and his servant flew to Mexico, where prosecutors were preparing to search the apartment.
“What I understand is that there was a cell phone hidden in the laundry basket, and you know, there were dirty clothes in a corner that no one would enter,” Osborne said. “That dog found the phone.”
Osborne said Hidu found more child porn material pasted on the wall under a board. “The dog sniffed a few hard drives that were hard to find in several places in the apartment, but the dog sniffed it.”
Prosecutors said the drivers and devices contained about 4 terabytes of sexually explicit material against children.
Prosecutor Godoy is indebted to the Underground Railway Operation and to Hidu for assisting in the bust case.
“The message for those who hunt a girl, a boy or a teenager is clear: there will be no room for impunity in Mexico, and those who hurt or target them will be found, tried and punished,” Godoy said.
But questions remain. “Why was he (Maatman) not wanted internationally?” Holsken said by Dutch authorities.
The device-seeking dog helps catch a suspected pedophile in Mexico
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