South Korean woman fools Japanese finger printing system

Published 2 January 2009

Japan spent more than $44 million dollars to install the biometric system at 30 airports; a deported South Korean woman was able to re-enter Japan by using fingerprint-altering special tape

Japan installed biometric systems in thirty airports in 2007 to improve security and prevent terrorists from entering into Japan. The Yomiuri Shimbun now reports that a South Korean woman barred from entering Japan last year passed through its immigration screening system by using tape on her fingers to fool a fingerprint reading machine. The woman, who has a deportation record, told investigators that she placed special tapes on her fingers to pass through a fingerprint reader, according to Kyodo News.

Japan spent more than $44 million dollars to install the biometric system, which reads the index fingerprints of visitors and instantly cross-checks them with a database of international fugitives and foreigners with deportation records, the Yomiuri Shimbun said.

The South Korean woman was deported in July 2007 for illegally staying in Japan after she worked as a bar hostess in Nagano in central Japan, Kyodo said, citing justice ministry sources.

She was not allowed to re-enter Japan for five years after deportation but the Tokyo immigration bureau found her in August 2008 again in Nagano, Kyodo said.

A South Korean broker is believed to have supplied her with the tapes and a fake passport, the Yomiuri said, adding that officials believe many more foreigners might have entered Japan using the same technique.