Japan spent ¥4 billion (roughly $43 million USD) on a newfangled fingerprint security system to keep undesirables out of their country and it works great unless someone thinks to put tape over their fingers:
The biometric system was installed in 30 airports in 2007 to improve security and prevent terrorists from entering into Japan, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said.
The woman, who has a deportation record, told investigators that she placed special tapes on her fingers to pass through a fingerprint reader, according to Kyodo News.
[…] The South Korean woman was deported in July 2007 for illegally staying in Japan after she worked as a bar hostess in Nagano in central Japan, Kyodo said, citing justice ministry sources.
She was not allowed to re-enter Japan for five years after deportation but the Tokyo immigration bureau found her in August 2008 again in Nagano, Kyodo said.
A South Korean broker is believed to have supplied her with the tapes and a fake passport, the Yomiuri said, adding that officials believe many more foreigners might have entered Japan using the same technique.
No word on if the “special” tape had false fingerprints on it or just obscured her own prints enough to fool the system, but it’s still an impressive flaw in an expensive system. Ooops.