South Korea implements stringent security screening

1 Sep 2010

South Korea today introduces additional security in 22 airports and ports nationwide to prevent suspected criminals and those with fake documents from entering.

The new measure is being implemented ahead of the G-20 Seoul Summit in November.

Fingerprint scan and a facial recognition programme will be used on visitors, who have similar profiles with global terrorists, carry stolen or suspicious passports, or show an unusual travel itinerary such as those who have transited from other cities before landing in Korea or those who carry one-way tickets that are paid for in cash.

The collected data will be compared with a Justice Ministry database, containing fingerprints of 230,000 foreigners with criminal records. Those with criminal histories or figure on the Interpol criminal watch list will be deported.

South Korea has been beefing up border security with full-body scanners also expected to go online in four of its international airports in October (see news).

The heightened security will remain in place even after the G-20 conference. All foreign visitors, except for diplomats, are expected to undergo fingerprint scan and facial image capture from June next year.

Gigi Onag

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