SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — The Ministry of Justice announced on January 22 that it had identified 4,790 foreigners deported in the last two years who have attempted to re-enter South Korea under new identities through a bio-data analytics system called BASE.
Relying on a database of facial, fingerprint and other biometric information, BASE was developed as occurrences of former illegal residents entering the country have become frequent.
Drawing from facial and fingerprint data stored since 2012, BASE compares and contrasts these records with incoming individuals’ biometric data to find matches. BASE completed development and was implemented into field operations starting in December of 2015.
BASE has aided law enforcement in unearthing the identities of suspects involved in the drug trade or associated with violent crime. The Ministry of Justice explained that BASE was effectively employed in 3,301 such cases.
Among the techniques deportees angling for a return to South Korea have turned to is acquiring a passport from the Marshall Islands. A Marshallese passport is believed to be comparatively easier to attain, making the document a useful option for individuals looking for official documents that prove a fake identity.
Last July, authorities ran the records of 516 supposed Marshallese who had arrived in South Korea through BASE and found that eight individuals were in actuality citizens of Southeast Asian nations.
What’s more, two of the eight Southeast Asian visitors were identified as government officials of one Southeast Asian nation wanted by Interpol on charges of fraud amounting to 4.3 trillion won. Authorities are currently working with investigators from the suspects’ home nation to determine whether the two individuals are currently in hiding in South Korea.
One other individual among the eight was wanted back home for allegedly fixing stock prices. This individual was repatriated after being identified last December.
The Ministry of Justice said it will ramp up its efforts to screen foreigners entering the country as the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics draw near.