Chinese drink-driver’s cheeky fraud attempt backfires as police use hi-tech software to wipe the smile off his face

Suspect used his friend’s name and claimed to have undergone plastic surgery in bid to avoid punishment

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 September, 2017, 3:53pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 September, 2017, 3:53pm

Police in southwestern China used facial recognition technology to identify a drink-driver who tried to pass himself off as his friend to avoid punishment, local media reported.

The man, surnamed Zhou, was arrested in the Jiangbei district of Chongqing about 5am on Saturday morning by traffic police who were responding to reports of a parking dispute, Chongqing Economic Times reported on Monday.

“When we arrived at the scene we could smell alcohol on the man, though he denied he had been drinking,” an unnamed police officer was quoted as saying.

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The suspect said his name was Fu Qiang, but was unable to produce an ID card or driving licence to support his claim, the report said.

When police checked a database of registered drivers they found a record for Fu Qiang, but were puzzled by the fact the file photograph did not match the appearance of the suspect.

When questioned about the lack of a resemblance, Zhou said that he had undergone extensive cosmetic surgery since the photograph had been taken. He also claimed to be a plastic surgeon, the report said.

Police were unconvinced and decided to use facial recognition software to investigate further.

That test revealed that the suspect was indeed a plastic surgeon, but that his name was Zhou and he came from Liaoning province in the northeast of the country, the report said. It did not give details of where the facial recognition test was conducted or how the technology works.

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Faced with the new evidence, Zhou confessed to masquerading as Fu Qiang, whom he claimed was a friend, the report said.

Blood tests determined that Zhou was over the legal alcohol limit and he was arrested. He was also charged with driving without a licence, identity fraud and other unstated offences, the report said.

It did not say what punishment he might face.