Moscow expats to undergo compulsory fingerprinting

Foreigners coming to Russia will soon have to submit their fingerprints once they obtain a work permit.

The initiative has been supported by the Federal Customs Service and Moscow’s government, including the mayor, Sergey Sobyanin.

“In Moscow, we’ve got a quota for foreign workers of 200,000 people, and currently we have exactly this number of registered workers,” Sobyanin told RT. “But there are nearly 200,000 migrants working illegally. That’s the worst thing. We have to have a database of all migrants living and working in the city. Unregistered, they pay no taxes and increase social tensions.”

This is not the first time the idea of expats’ fingerprinting has been discussed. Back in February, Russia’s Investigative Committee proposed the setting up of a database of immigrants’ fingerprints and DNA as a measure to tackle hate crimes in the city.

Back in 2010, Bastrykin proposed fingerprinting all Russian citizens, irrespective of nationality. Since then, 35 million people (about a quarter of the country’s population) have voluntarily submitted their fingerprints.

This fingerprint database reportedly helped find the terrorist behind the Domodedovo blast. An anonymous police source quoted by RIA Novosti news agency claimed that the criminal was identified the day after the bombing.

According to opinion polls, 51 per cent of Russians support the idea, while 26 per cent are strongly against it. Forty-six per cent said they are ready to submit their fingerprints.

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