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State considers face scanning, fingerprinting

Monday, February 29 2016

HE STATE is considering the introduction of biometric facial recognition and fingerprinting at the two international airports, Minister of National Security Major General Edmund Dillon said on Friday.

During Parliament Question Time, the Minister was asked to outline the measures brought to prevent international terrorist suspects from returning to Trinidad and Tobago and to deal with international terrorist suspects already in Trinidad and Tobago.

“In accordance with the nation’s endorsement of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2178, the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has complied with its international legal obligations by instituting monitoring and oversight mechanisms, and surveillance measures to prevent international terrorist suspects from returning to Trinidad and Tobago,” Dillon said.

“This approach is consistent with international law and the Anti-Terrorism Act 2005, Section 22(b) (listing of terrorist entities), 23 (detention orders) and 24 (power to gather information).” Measures instituted included: the use of an advance passenger information system to detect terrorists designated as such by the United Nations.

He also said, “we are presently evaluating effective border control technology such as biometric facial recognition and automated fingerprint recognition for installation at the two international airports.” Dillon said the State was also currently enhancing measures for the detection of forged/stolen documents; evaluating the level of threat posed to Trinidad and Tobago and formulating protocols with the aim of managing return processes.

Additionally, the Ministry of National Security continues to embark on several initiatives aimed at border management and intelligence gathering.

These include the establishment of a joint border protection agency; a restructuring of the intelligence agency; upgrading existing databases to allow agencies to monitor persons; surveillance on suspected terrorists and observing the activities of security concerns.

The Minister said the police were engaging international partners to, “gather and to develop the international database”.



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