The extradition of an alleged member of the Russian mob illustrates the increasingly everyday importance of biometric identification in law enforcement.
Wanted for a range of crimes in three different Canadian provinces, Georgian national Alex Alexidze was transferred by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to officials with the Canada Border Services Agency this week. And while Alexidze, who was arrested in Cleveland last year, had committed at least some of his crimes under the alias Alex Row, ICE agents were able to confirm that he was indeed the suspect sought by Canadian authorities using “photos and biometric data,” according to an ICE report.
The specific arm of ICE that undertook this work, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERM), reports that since October, 2009, it has extradited 1,789 fugitives from the US. Given the growing popularity of biometric identification technologies among law enforcement agencies around the world over the last several years, it seems likely that such technology has played a similar role in other recent ERM cases—and many more to come.
ICE also uses biometric technology in the field, and recently placed a major order for NeoScan45 mobile biometric readers from NEC Corporation of America to further enhance its capabilities. Like ERM’s use of biometrics in identifying foreign fugitives, this also tracks with broader trends as the technology continues to rise in popularity in law enforcement and border control.
July 20, 2016 – by Alex Perala