On Tuesday (25 January), Spanish police said they had detained seven suspected members of an international criminal gang who manufactured and sold forged COVID-19 passports and negative tests.
The investigation found that the Spanish arm of ring, which advertised its services on “anti-vax” instant messaging groups, fraudulently added at least 1,600 people to the National vaccination register with the help of a health worker.
EU countries last year agreed to create a standardized COVID certificate with a QR code so that people who have been vaccinated and tested can travel and participate in programmes, hiking the demand for forged certificates among people.
Police arrested six in Madrid and one in Barcelona but did not provide further details about them.
They will be charged with document forgery and crimes against public health. “The investigation into possible theft of (register) passwords is ongoing,” the national police said in a statement.
The gang divided customers into two groups based on income and charged 200 euros ($225) or 1,000 euros for a fake COVID vaccination certificate, which would be sent within two days of payment, while they charged around 50 euros for duplicate negative reports of PCR test.
Police are now investigating the 1,600 people added to the register fraudulently.
The organization’s leaders operate from France, where, unlike most of Spain, a vaccination passport is mandatory to enter public places such as restaurants or movie theatres. Spanish police passed all the information to French authorities.
The terror of the COVID-19 pandemic has increased so much that people are afraid of being infected and receiving the doses of vaccines.
The government of European countries have made it necessary to get the vaccine. Some people make tons of fake vaccine certificates and fake negative COVID-19 test reports. People are cheating with the government as some have made their side business to provide counterfeit certificates and fake covid reports.