European and Swiss authorities are seeing the emergence of an illegal trade in false negative Covid-19 test results, reported RTS.
As more and more countries introduce requirements to produce negative Covid-19 tests as a condition of entry, so do the incentives to buy and sell false test results.
This week, Switzerland introduced a new rule requiring all those arriving by air to produce a negative PCR test done no more than 72 hours before arrival.
The trade in fake test documents quickly came to the attention of the criminal police at Europol, which brought attention to the issue last week. In Switzerland, the Federal Office of Police (Fedpol) has reported instances of people presenting fake test documents at road borders, airports and on trains and buses.
Swiss border police told RTS that they have false document specialists working at Switzerland’s borders. In addition, they are staying informed via their international network. Social media is the main sales route for such documents, which range in price from tens to hundreds of francs.
And while buying fake documents is fairly straight forward, the risks and costs of getting caught are high. Falsifying documents is a criminal offence that could leave the culprit with a criminal record. Penalties range from 3-day fines to 5 years in prison, according to a legal expert at the University of Geneva.