Europol Warns Of Fake PCR Tests At Airports

With most countries making a negative COVID-19 test mandatory for passengers travelling by air, some tourists have been found with using fake test results to get around entry requirements.

Instead of securing a negative PCR test, which may be difficult in time for departure, some travellers are buying counterfeit test results online at a fraction of the cost of a standard test.

The European Union´s  Europol has issued a public warning on the issue saying that it puts fellow travellers at risk and undermines international containment measures.

The warning follows various incidents including the arrest in Spain of a woman fraudster selling fake Covid-19 negative test result certificates for 40 Euros in December 2020.

In addition Interpol reported other incidents across Europe including a recent arrest at Luton Airport in the UK where check-in staff reported a traveller for using a bogus test certificate that led to the arrest of a Briton for trying to sell false COVID-19 test certificates.

Last month, French police dismantled a forgery ring operating at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and who were selling forged negative test results directly to passengers at between 150 to 300 Euros.

The seven suspects have since been charged with fraud and forgery. They face up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of  300,000 Euros if convicted.

The Netherlands authorities also arrested a gang who were discovered selling fake negative test statements for EUR 50-60 through messaging apps.

Falsified COVID-19 test results have also popped up in South America.

The Associated Press reported that a group of Brazilian travellers were jailed in October for presenting falsified negative test results in an attempt to enter the island of Fernando de Noronha on a private jet.

Europol also announced they are investigating an alleged use of a mobile phone application by an Irish organised crime group, which allows members of the group to manually falsify test results.


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