CBP tech catches impostor at Dulles
05 October 2018 14:21 GMT

Customs and Border Protection’s new cutting-edge facial recognition technology identified a third impostor in 40 days Monday at Washington Dulles International Airport.

A 26 year-old Cameroonian woman arrived on a flight from Accra, Ghana, which had originated from Johannesburg, South Africa.  The woman presented a U.S. passport in the name of a 31-year-old U.S. citizen to the inspecting CBP officer.  The facial recognition technology used by the officer reported a mismatch to the photo in the passport.  CBP officers confirmed her true identity during a secondary inspection and biometric examination and she was arrested for misuse of a passport (18 USC 1544).

Posing as someone else when attempting to enter the United States is a serious violation of U.S. immigration law.  The secondary inspection and biometric (fingerprint) examination performed therein by CBP officers also revealed that the woman had previously applied abroad for a U.S. visitor visa and was denied.  Inadmissible foreign nationals sometimes use U.S. passports belonging to others to attempt illegal entry into the United States.  Those documents may be stolen, purchased or “borrowed” passports.

CBP’s facial recognition system is highly effective and efficient at detecting impostors.  It compares the face of the traveler presenting the travel document to the picture on the passport or other international travel related photos (ie: a visa).  The facial recognition verification process takes less than 2 seconds.  It is designed to quickly match to the travel document presented.

“This latest interception is yet another example of the effectiveness of the facial comparison system we are using to help us detect criminals, terrorists or imposters attempting to enter our country,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s Director of the Baltimore Field Office.  “It has proven highly accurate and is one more tool in our officer’s toolbox that helps them accomplish CBP’s mission of keeping America safe from people that would do us harm while also helping to facilitate the efficient flow of legitimate travelers.”

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority partnered with CBP at Washington-Dulles International Airport to deploy biometric entry and exit technology using facial comparison to provide additional security and to improve efficiency for international travelers.