New Zealand investigates passport fraud with facial recognition

Checks reveal 65 false passports (The New Zealand Herald)

Of the 65 suspected false passports discovered by the DIA, 30 cases have been sent to the police national headquarters.

Of those, 21 were referred to relevant police districts for follow up. Five have been convicted, three are before the courts, two have been filed and 11 remain under investigation.

In the five cases prosecuted, eight people were convicted on a range of charges, with sentences ranging from conviction and discharge up to several months’ home detention.

When it comes to faking their passports, Kiwis don’t play.

US: Biometrics Collected Under Deportation Deferment Program

US illegal immigrants eye new work rule (Express India)

“Under existing regulations, an individual who receives deferred action and demonstrates economic necessity for employment is eligible to also receive employment authorisation for the period of deferred action — in this case, two years,” Alejandro Mayorkas, Director, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) told reporters during a conference call.

The total fee for making application is USD 465, which includes a biometric check and issuance of a secure work authorisation document.

I haven’t been able to find whether the biometrics involved are part of a criminal background check, become part of the ID documents, or both.

Technology Helps Reduce Number of Fake UK Passports

Fewer fake passports being found by UK’s border force (BBC)

The number of forged passports detected at ports and airports across the UK has almost halved in the past five years.

A Freedom of Information request by the BBC showed that border officials spotted 1,858 forgeries last year compared to 3,300 in 2007.

The UK’s border force said this was partly down to improved security measures and fraud checks.

Those improved security measures now include more sophisticated technology such as biometrics. Of course, there are some who assert that fewer detections result from less looking but professional security outfits usually know their business better than that.

Detections dropped 44%. Does anyone assert that they did 44% less looking? Of course not.

Don’t Try This At Home

Sad. Now, in all likelihood, she and a large portion of her family will never be issued another US visa.

Lovelorn 21-yr-old held with fake passport in Pune (DNA India)

“Dara’s fiancée is working in New York, and she wanted to meet him. However, she was not getting a visa, due to some technical issues. Dara’s brother contacted Raju, who asked Dara and her brother to come to Mumbai and made a visa for her in the name of Mina, who is unrelated to the family yet looks similar to Dara. Once the documents were processed, Raju replaced the photo on Mina’s passport with that of Dara. The fact that Dara was using a fake passport was revealed when she underwent a biometric test in New York.”

Sri Lanka Adopts Biometrics for Better ID Management of Expatriate Domestics in the Middle East

Hi-tech measures to stop job swindles in the Middle East (The Sunday Times – Sri Lanka)

Sri Lankans seeking jobs in the Middle East will now face electronic fingerprinting and biometric scanning prior to departure to crack down on rampant fraud and other irregularities in the recruitment trade, a senior official said yesterday. Scanning devices would be installed at the departure and arrival areas of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) and at all Sri Lankan diplomatic missions in the Middle Eastern countries where there were large numbers of Sri Lankan workers, Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB) Chairman Amal Senadhilankara said.

Click through to the whole story for a great example of the convoluted way people try to game well-intentioned systems.

Summit of Central Africa leaders mulls biometric passports

Transitioning to biometric passports is on the agenda of the Economic Community of Central African States (CEMAC) meetings being held this month in Brazzaville.

UPDATE: Link to Afrique Jet was missing before.

Summit of Central Africa leaders (Afrique Jet)


Also on the agenda is CEMAC biometric passport for all member countries.

‘The secure biometric passport will be progressively established and will coexist with the former passports so that there is no break,’ Mr Ntsimi added.

Biometrics “Fix” Identity

Even if there is fraud in the identification process, biometrics can be used to fix a single identity upon an individual.

An article in today’s Canberra Times about people smuggling brings home the point.

Despite some unauthorised arrivals’ lack of documents, biometric capability is critical. In a few cases, unauthorised boat arrivals will be identified from international databases, particularly through fingerprints. Even if people cannot be identified, the collection of biometric data on arrival provides a basis for anchoring the identity of an unauthorised arrival, so that the Australian community can be confident it is dealing with one person and that further identity-shifting is difficult. It also leaves open the possibility of identification in the future. [Emphasis mine]

One classic use of identity fraud among professional criminals is the use of multiple ID’s so as to keep a clean identity and a dirty identity. If possible, all the documents involved are “real” in that even the ID card related to the fabricated identity is issued by the legitimate authority.

When the the professional criminal with his family in the car is pulled over for running a stop sign in his neighborhood by a police man who goes to the same church, he presents his “real” ID. When he’s picked up in the course of his job, say 1,500 miles away, with a trunk full of weapons and narcotics, he gives the police the ID containing bogus information.

The arresting officers call the ID authority who created the false ID card. Sure enough, he’s in the database. No criminal record. Light sentence for a first offence and he can still go back to his life, get another ID, and go back to work, too.

The same pattern works well with fraud.

Pretty simple, right?

Well, yes — until biometrics.

Once ID issuing authorities institute biometric checks before issuing new ID documents, even a person who lies on their original ID application is stuck with only the one ID.* Further attempts to obtain additional ID’s can be detected and investigated. Later claims of a false identity (or lost ID) can be unraveled.

This is something that might have given pause to the person who supplied Mr. Coriander with fingerprints. If he thought the only time those fingerprints could be used for a UID number, he might not have found the joke as funny.

*This applies to discrete ID management system. If ID databases aren’t linked, it may be possible to maintain different identities in different databases.

Nepal Preparing for Biometric National ID Card

They have a cool flag, too.

Source: CIA World Factbook – Nepal

The report recommends polycarbonated cards for the NID and suggests improving the quality of finger prints that the Election Commission has collected, noting that the prints are of low quality and do not meet the standard for biometric ID cards. An NID card is estimated to cost six to eight dollars.

“After the detailed project report, the consultant is preparing bid documents for the project,” Dahal said.

He anticipated that this process will take a long time to complete.