Black Market for Negative COVID-19 Tests Grows Around the World

Travelers around the world desperate to cross borders are buying fake COVID-19 test results or falsifying their own to bypass regulations, New York Post reported.

In France, seven people were arrested for selling false certificates of negative coronavirus tests to travelers at Paris’s largest airport, Charles de Gaulle. The six men and one woman were charging up to $360 for the fake tests,  the Associated Press reported.

Authorities were alerted after the discovery of a passenger who checked in for a September flight to Addis Ababa used a phony document that certified receiving negative test results. The seven suspects face up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $445,000, if they are convicted.

In October, four tourists were arrested in Brazil for allegedly falsifying COVID-19 tests after landing in Fernando de Noronha, a group of islands off northern Brazil. The Brazilians, who took a private jet, were accused of falsifying documents, using falsified documents and criminal association, according to AP.

A man in the North of England told a local newspaper he was handed a negative test by a friend and then changed the name to his and printed it out. He was then able to travel to Pakistan with what was a fake Covid-19 test certificate.

“You can simply get their negative test and change the name and birthdate to your own. You also put a test date on which is within the time limit required,” the man, who didn’t want to be named, told the Lancashire Telegraph.

“You download the email, change it and then print it,” said.

“People are doing this as you can’t get a COVID test if you have to travel to Pakistan in case of an emergency. It is difficult to get one unless you are a key worker,” he said.

 

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met, and married an American journalist and moved to D.C from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A in Graphic, Media and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: Diyun Zhu/Getty Images

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