Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Black market Covid-19 negative test certs unmasked at airports worldwide

Faked test results can be bought if you know where to go, but authorities are wising up.

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More and more countries are requiring negative Covid-19 test results from travellers upon arrival. One of the results is that people anxious to get going but without a certificate have been turning to counterfeit test results, according to The Washington Post.

In September, French officials discovered false certificates were being sold at Charles de Gaulle Airport for up to €300 (RM1,500) after a passenger checked in to a flight from Paris to Addis Ababa using fake documents. Last week, seven people were arrested in Paris, each facing up to five years in prison if convicted.

In northern England, the Lancashire Telegraph reported that fake documentation is being sold in Lancashire for up to £150 (RM800).

One anonymous source told reporters how easy it is to get hold of other people’s negative test results and simply change the name, birthdate, and testing date. “You download the email, change it, and then print it,” he said.

For him it was simply a necessary means to get around the system since he needed to fly to Pakistan. “People are doing this as you can’t get a Covid test if you have to travel to Pakistan in an emergency,” he said.

“It is difficult to get a test unless you are a key worker. If you put down you have symptoms, then you don’t get the test. How can you travel then?”

In Brazil four tourists were nabbed and jailed after falsifying the date on their Covid-19 tests. Officials called the lab and discovered that the testing dates didn’t match up.

Worldwide, authorities are getting on top of the forgeries and finding direct ways to transmit test results so that falsified documentation doesn’t slip through the system.

In Hawaii, for example, only results from approved testing partners will be accepted, and they must be transmitted digitally to the authorities.

United Airlines and Cathay Pacific have been using a new app called CommonPass, currently in a trial run, to centralise health data, lab results, and vaccination data of passengers.

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