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NADRA cracks down on suspect IDs, collects biometrics from relatives

NADRA cracks down on suspect IDs, collects biometrics from relatives

The National Database and Registration Authority in Pakistan has canceled 181 national digital ID cards that were issued to non-nationals during the last three years, and expanded biometrics collection of relations for registration.

According to the Pakistan-focused Daily Times and satellite news channel Samaa, government documents indicate there are 8,152 potential instances of fake IDs being investigated.

ID cards are usually reserved for nationals.

Samaa says its reporting has turned up alleged fraud carried out by Afghan, Burmese and Iranian nationals. Some people are using fake documents and colluding with NADRA employees.

Internal government investigations so far have looked into 279 workers. Forty-three have been dismissed.

The registration agency also took steps to prevent criminal activity by revising its policies for applications. Getting biometrics of blood relatives has been made mandatory for new applicants.

Further, the agency started monitoring ethnic language and birth sequence checks and old records where biometrics are unavailable. NADRA also confirmed it is revamping Child Registration Certificate databases by capturing photographs of all minors and the biometrics of those at least 14 years old.

The news comes weeks after the agency announced a partnership with 1Link to enable Pakistanis to pay utility bills and fees for obtaining identity documents.

Tariq Malik, chairman of NADRA, participated in ID4Africa’s 34th Livecast, saying the agency had registered about 97 percent of the adult population as of September 28.

A NADRA spokesperson told Biometric Update in an email that the ID authority has responded to the fraudulent applications by implementing new security protocols as part of its registration policy, and also closely monitoring employees digitally. Fraud attempts have decreased to almost none due to this proactive approach, according to the representative.

This post was updated at 2:29pm Eastern on October 15, 2022 to include comment from NADRA.

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