An Automated Finger Print Identification System (AFIS) developed by the University of Colombo has identified 21,000 criminals since being implemented in March, according to senior police.
Police spokesman and senior superintendent Ajith Rohana said last week that the technology positions Sri Lanka as first in South Asia in terms of advanced fingerprinting operations, and second in the Asia region.
Rohana told reporters at the Police Headquarters that while a Japanese firm had quoted 800 million rupees (US$6.1 million) for the implementation, the Head of University of Colombo School of Computing, Harsha Wijewardene, had led a team to design the software for just 20 million rupees (US$152,000).
Previously it took three to seven days or even more to identify fingerprints, but the process now takes just three minutes, he said, adding that the new system had identified 21,000 criminals since it was installed.
“Several new algorithms required for Sri Lankan conditions were developed for this fingerprint identification system," Wijayawardhana told local media in March.
Colombo hosted the 29th meeting of the INTERPOL AFIS Expert Working Group from 18-19 November.
The system is capable of matching fingerprints in the core data base of over 500,000 with an accuracy of 99 percent for identification and 60 percent for fingerprint matching, Inspector General of Police NK Ilangakoon said at the event.
Ilangakoon said the Sri Lanka Police was hoping to gain expertise from INTERPOL to assist in rolling out the capability to all police stations in the country.