Nearly 26,000 foreigners blocked from boarding flights to Korea

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Nearly 26,000 foreigners blocked from boarding flights to Korea

By Jung Hae-myoung

A passenger pre-checking system has prevented more than 25,000 foreigners, who are likely to commit crimes or terrorist attacks, from boarding planes bound for Korea, a report showed Wednesday.

According to a Ministry of Justice report disclosed by Rep. Keum Tae-sup of the Democratic Party of Korea, 25,598 foreigners were banned from boarding planes headed to Korea from April 2017, when the nation adopted the "I-Prechecking" system, to this August.

It means 1,506 foreigners per month were stopped from boarding planes bound for Korea at the airports of their departure.

Under the system, the ministry obtains passenger lists from airlines at foreign airports and blocks boarding for foreign nationals who have past criminal records and may be likely to commit crimes.

Among the rejected foreigners, 947 people owned passports that were listed on the Interpol database, and another 14 people were on the wanted list from Interpol.

The largest number of cases banning people from boarding was regarding passports that were invalid or reported missing, with 13,358, while 1,621 people could not board the planes as they had committed criminal or immigration-related offenses during previous stays in Korea.

In one case in March, a 40-year-old foreigner was banned from boarding an Air Astana plane departing from Uzbekistan to Korea, after the ministry found out he was a combat agent of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS), or Daesh, a terrorist organization designated by the United Nations.

The World Information Technology and Services earlier acknowledged the technology as an exemplary model of public services.

"While the number of foreigners staying here and crimes committed by them is on the rise, this system is significant because it prevents crimes in advance and guarantees security of the nation," Keum said. "Even so, more specific standards and procedures are required to make the system more effective."


By Jung Hae-myoung

A passenger pre-checking system has prevented more than 25,000 foreigners, who are likely to commit crimes or terrorist attacks, from boarding planes bound for Korea, a report showed Wednesday.

According to a Ministry of Justice report disclosed by Rep. Keum Tae-sup of the Democratic Party of Korea, 25,598 foreigners were banned from boarding planes headed to Korea from April 2017, when the nation adopted the "I-Prechecking" system, to this August.

It means 1,506 foreigners per month were stopped from boarding planes bound for Korea at the airports of their departure.

Under the system, the ministry obtains passenger lists from airlines at foreign airports and blocks boarding for foreign nationals who have past criminal records and may be likely to commit crimes.

Among the rejected foreigners, 947 people owned passports that were listed on the Interpol database, and another 14 people were on the wanted list from Interpol.

The largest number of cases banning people from boarding was regarding passports that were invalid or reported missing, with 13,358, while 1,621 people could not board the planes as they had committed criminal or immigration-related offenses during previous stays in Korea.

In one case in March, a 40-year-old foreigner was banned from boarding an Air Astana plane departing from Uzbekistan to Korea, after the ministry found out he was a combat agent of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS), or Daesh, a terrorist organization designated by the United Nations.

The World Information Technology and Services earlier acknowledged the technology as an exemplary model of public services.

"While the number of foreigners staying here and crimes committed by them is on the rise, this system is significant because it prevents crimes in advance and guarantees security of the nation," Keum said. "Even so, more specific standards and procedures are required to make the system more effective."


Jung Hae-myoung haemyoung.jung@gmail.com
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