x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Police arrest three for aiding illegal immigrants

DUBAI // Two Russians and a Moldovan have been arrested for allegedly trying to enable illegal immigrants to bypass the iris recognition system at border crossings. Officers from the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department, together with Dubai Airport Police, arrested a 17-year-old Russian man, identified as FS, as he allegedly tried to give a bag containing 72 fake passport stamps to the second Russian, KA, 34, at Dubai International Airport. The third suspect, a 21-year-old woman from Moldova, was also arrested with five ink pads.

A spokesman for the department said the stamps would have helped people banned from entering the UAE to cross the country's borders. The recovered stamps would have indicated to immigration officers that the holders of the passports had been cleared by the iris recognition system and did not have to be scanned again. The iris recognition system, which is in operation at all border crossings, was introduced in 2005. In its first year, the system led to the arrests of 1,325 banned people trying to enter the country. In 2007, the figure rose to 3,626, and to 4,382 in the first half of this year alone.

@Email:gmcclenaghan@thenational.ae