The suspect (in white shirt) was barred entry by the railway smart gate. Photo: Guangzhou Railway Public Security Bureau Changsha Office

A 31-year-old man wanted on drug charges was arrested at a railway station in southern China after cameras with facial recognition technology alerted authorities to his presence.

The man was initially stopped from boarding a high-speed train in Hunan province in southern China last Thursday and was later identified as a drug trafficker on the run.

At about 7:30am on July 25, the man tried to enter the platform through an automatic smart gate but was not granted admission because the facial recognition-equipped machine flashed “abnormalities,” which drew the attention of railway staff. There was a long queue behind the man as he tried to get on the platform, the Paper reported.

The man reportedly had a ticket to Shaoyang from Xiangtan North railway station.

Railway authorities checked the man’s ticket manually and allowed him to board as the train was about to depart, despite the fact that the system continued to show abnormalities.

Police from Xiangtan North railway station then approached the man and double-checked his ticket, which was valid for the same train on the following day. He was taken to the railway police room for further investigation as he appeared agitated.

A preliminary investigation showed the man came from Fuzhou in the northeastern part of Jiangxi province and was responsible for manufacturing or smuggling, transporting and trafficking illegal drugs.

He had tried to make a quick exit from Shaoyang, but the train tickets were sold out, so he bought a ticket for the following day, hoping to gain entry during peak hours as he thought railway officers would be more likely to lower their guard and let ticket holders in without examining the date on the ticket.

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