More Dominicans with altered prints seek passports, official warns
Officials in the Dominican Republic suspect people are having their fingerprints surgically changed to fool immigration authorities, it has been reported.

BBC NEWS - Requests for new travel documents with updated fingerprints have "raised flags" at the Passports Department and triggered a series of investigations into whether crimes have been committed, the Dominican Today website reports. "If a citizen's prints don't coincide with Central Electoral Board data or with what's in the system from their previous passport, the case is sent to the Justice Ministry at once," Iris Guaba, head of the agency, told the site.

It is not clear why people are changing their fingerprints, or if it is a successful tactic. But officials think it is an attempt to erase biometric data that might identify people previously deported from another country.

Ms Guaba says Dominican travel documents do meet international standards but "don't comply with all security levels the new times demand," she told local television.

People have made determined efforts to erase their fingerprints ever since they first started being used as a means to detect crime. According to experts, fingerprints are durable and will grow back even after they have been worn down.

Alleged killer tried to destroy own fingerprints while on the run

nypost.com - An alleged Brooklyn killer on the lam for over a decade tried to fight extradition from the Dominican Republic — by mutilating his hands to destroy his fingerprints, police sources said.

Hector Ortiz, 43, allegedly gunned down Eddy Antigua, 30, inside a Brooklyn lounge on May 3, 2003.

He was eyed as a suspect but quickly fled to the Dominican Republic where he was hiding for over 10 years, sources said.

But a break in the case came last September, when Ortiz and a couple of pals allegedly stole a boat in the Dominican Republic and sailed to the Puerto Rican border in an attempt to return to the US.

Immigration officials spotted the suspects after the boat’s engine broke down.

Authorities ran their prints and discovered the NYPD had an active warrant for Ortiz’s arrest in connection to the murder.

While in custody Ortiz mutilated his fingers with a razor blade and burned his hands in a misguided attempt to ruin prints after they were already taken, sources said.

The US Attorney’s Office notified the NYPD, and in October, Ortiz was indicted for murder by the Brooklyn DA. He was arraigned and held without bail and is being charged with murder.

Go back | Date: 02 Mar 2014
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