Oman to launch biometric border control, crime database

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Oman has revealed that it is deploying a biometric border management system in the same week that its police service reported plans to develop a biometric law enforcement database. The government of Oman plans to deploy a border management system developed by from air transport and government IT firm SITA, the firm reported.

Hani El-Assaad, SITA president, Middle East, India & Africa, said: “SITA is providing Oman with a fully integrated border management solution, as well as the tools to manage, monitor and operate its borders effectively.”

Under the agreement, SITA is deploying an extensive “iBorders” solution that encompasses risk assessment of traveller data from air and cruise lines, a comprehensive border control system used at immigration checkpoints across Oman, a complete e-Visa solution and a centralized Visitor Information System.

Implmented with the Royal Oman Police (ROP), iBorders will be deployed at 28 airports, seaports and land border crossings across Oman, as well as more than 15 regional offices and more than 50 Omani embassies and consulates located across the world.

Crime database

Meanwhile, the Royal Oman Police has also revealed this week that it is launching the  ‘Yaqeen’ (certainty) project, which aims to consolidate all biometric data the ROP holds to speed up crime-solving and enable better monitoring of suspects.

“There will be a unified server for the biometrics in the wilayats (provinces) to make it easier for investigation departments to access information from anywhere,” an unnamed official told the Times of Oman.

According to the ROP, a fall in crime levels from 15,346 in 2013 to 13,044 in 2014 — a remarkable drop of 15% – came about as a result of better control and intensive patrolling.

In 2002, Oman became the first Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country to offer electronic ID cards to its citizens.

A state-of-the-art biometric identification system was launched by Bank Muscat in collaboration with the ROP last year.

“To validate banking transactions at all Bank Muscat branches, the identification card is required to be inserted into the biometric machine and customers have to validate their identity by scanning their finger print on the machine,” said a press statement.

(Times of Oman)

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