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By the end of the year Thai immigration plan to be scanning the fingerprints of all foreigners arriving in the Kingdom. The new project is thought be costing 342 million baht, however the budget is yet to be approved.
The scanners are to be introduced at every entry point into the county as part of the immigration bureaus effort to prevent foreign criminals from entering Thailand. The fingerprint scanners are better able to identify criminals who have changed their names and passports and gained new identities than biometric passport scanners that would not be able to pick up on criminals travelling on fake passports.
The system will not flag any foreigners unless they have committed a crime in Thailand or are wanted by Interpol, but the system will allow for better information collecting on who is entering the country, how often they enter and where.
The new system is expected to created longer queues at immigration points but authorities think that is a measure that needs to be taken. There is also no great concern over the health risks posed by millions of people touching the same device and is seen as a scheme that will benefit the whole country.