Iris scans keep forgers at bay - UAE INFO

Aug 11, 2009

Iris scans keep forgers at bay

Dubai: Cases of forged documents registered at Dubai airport have dropped by more than 40 per cent in the first half of this year, the latest statistics have revealed.

About 177 cases of forged documents were reported at Dubai airport in the first half of this year compared to 310 cases during the same period last year, according to Dubai Public Prosecution statistics.

Prosecutor Mohammad Ali Rustom, Head of Bur Dubai's Second Public Prosecution, which includes Dubai airport and Dubai ports, told Gulf News that the drop was mainly due to iris scan checks.

"Iris scan checking has helped curb illegal entering through Dubai airport," said Rustom.

The iris scan, the eye biometric recognition system, was introduced in 2003 and anybody who is to be deported from the country has to have their iris scan taken to ensure that they will not be able to re-enter under a different name and passport.

"The majority of the cases reported at the airport are of people who are attempting to re-enter the country after being deported for legal reasons," said Rustom.

"We have modern equipment installed in place to discover the forging of documents and we also send the suspect documents to Dubai Police laboratories for final verification," he added.

Indian nationals topped the list of people arrested in forgery cases at the airport as they made up 34 per cent of the total number followed by Bangladeshis and Nigerians at 12 per cent respectively.

"People who are caught with forged documents usually do not know how these documents are forged as they buy them from mediators," said Rustom.

The most common documents which are forged are entry visas, entry stamps, iris scan stamps and passports, according to Rustom. However, he did not disclose a breakdown for each category.

Last month the Dubai Court of First Instance found a woman and a man guilty of smuggling 72 forged iris scan stamps into Dubai airport.

The two were arrested following the foiling of a smuggling attempt on July 17, 2008 by Dubai Police. The police set up a trap after they received information that a gang was planning to smuggle fake iris scan stamps into the country through Dubai airport.

There were four people involved in the crime, according to the public prosecution records.

Despite the big drop in forgery cases registered at Dubai airport the number is markedly higher than the cases registered at Dubai ports where until July of this year six cases of forgery were registered, according to Dubai Public prosecution.

177 cases of forged documents reported at Dubai airport

72 forged iris scan stamps found during smuggling attempt

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