By Tony Winterburn •
Published: 02 Feb 2021 • 7:00
Criminal Gangs Selling Fake Negative Covid Certificates All Over Europe. image: Pexels
Criminal Gangs Selling Fake Negative Covid Certificates All Over Europe.
CRIMINAL GANGS are producing and selling fake negative coronavirus test certificates in airports, stations and online all over Europe in the latest example of opportunistic coronavirus-related crime, the EU’s law enforcement agency Europol has said.
“As long as travel restrictions remain in place due to the Covid-19 situation, it is highly likely that production and sales of fake test certificates will prevail,” Europol, the bloc’s police cooperation and coordination agency, said on Monday.
“Given the widespread technological means available, in the form of high-quality printers and different software, fraudsters are able to produce high-quality counterfeit, forged or fake documents, member states should be vigilant.”
Europol’s global counterpart, Interpol, has previously warned of criminal gangs selling fake coronavirus vaccines – or stealing real ones – and flooding the market with counterfeit face masks, hand sanitisers and other medical products.
The EU police agency said that gangs are faking the name of a genuine laboratory on the certificates in a bid to dupe officials at borders. Travellers requiring private tests normally have to pay for them, at a cost of around £150 and Europol said they had busted similar scams in Holland and Spain.
In a statement, Europol, who are based at The Hague, Holland, said: “As long as travel restrictions remain in place due to the pandemic, it is very likely that criminals will seize the opportunity of producing and selling fake Covid-19 test certificates.
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