Singapore to launch biometric entry-exit system
19 April 2016 15:17 GMT

Singapore’s immigration authorities has said it will thumbprint all citizens arriving and departing by land or sea.

The measures are to be introduced by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) as part of ongoing efforts to boost the country's security levels.

The biometric border deployment comes after a successful year-long trial at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal that has seen more than 120,000 travellers go through the new system since last April, ICA said.

All travellers aged six and above who use manned counters at immigration checkpoints will have to scan both their thumbprints upon arrival and departure.

The body warned that this may result in "slightly longer immigration clearance times", but that it will "monitor the system closely, and will fine-tune and adjust the implementation plans where necessary".

Associate Professor Kumar Ramakrishna, head of policy studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, told the Straits Times that the move "makes sense", given that "Singapore remains an iconic target".

"Biometric technology is a crucial enabling technology that is available now and hence should be exploited, especially since the threat from transnational terrorist groups like ISIS has heightened at this point in time," he said.

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