Crime gangs selling fake negative coronavirus test documents to travelers: Europol warns

Nation/world
Passengers from Taiwan wearing protective gear arrive to board their plane at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in Roissy , north of Paris, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Passengers from Taiwan wearing protective gear arrive to board their plane at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in Roissy , north of Paris, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

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The European Union’s police agency is warning nations to be on the lookout for fake COVID-19 test certificates, as crime gangs attempt to cash in on pandemic travel restrictions.

Many countries have introduced requirements for arriving passengers to show a negative COVID-19 test to slow the spread of the coronavirus brought in by people arriving from other nations.

Europol said Monday that recent cases reported by EU member states include a forgery ring selling negative test results to passengers at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and a counterfeiter detained by Spanish police for selling fake test results.

“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,” Europol said.

British authorities also caught fraudsters selling COVID-19 documents for $137 each.

“Europol received additional intelligence on the alleged use of a mobile application by the Rathkeale Rovers Mobile Organised Crime Group which allows members of the organised crime group to manually falsify test results,” Europol said.

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