Travellers are buying fake Covid-19 test results on the black market

  • 21 Nov - 27 Nov, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

As the new wave of the coronavirus continues to spread around the globe, with more than 51 million cases and 1.27 million deaths globally according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, many countries are requiring negative Covid-19 test results upon arrival. Meanwhile, travellers anxious to get back on the road have been turning to counterfeit test results. After a passenger checked in to a flight from Paris to Addis Ababa in September using fake documents, French officials discovered the false certificates were being sold at Charles de Gaulle Airport for 150 to 300 euros. Last week, seven people were arrested, each facing up to five years in prison plus a fine of 375,000 euros, if convicted. Over in England, a man from Blackburn told the Lancashire Telegraph how easy it was to get counterfeit test results marked negative and simply change the name, birthdate, and testing date. “You download the email, change it, and then print it,” the source who chose to be anonymous said. He saw it as 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 case of an emergency,” he said. “It is difficult to get one 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?” Around the globe, authorities are on top of the forgery trend and finding direct ways to transmit results, so that falsified documentation doesn’t slip through the system.