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Irish gang behind sale of forged Covid-19 test results

As long as travel restrictions remain in place due to the pandemic, it is very likely that criminals will seize the opportunity of producing and selling fake COVID-19 test certificates, warns a Europol Early Warning Notification published today.

Several cases have already emerged of fraudulent COVID-19 test certificates being sold to travellers:

  • A forgery ring selling negative test results to passengers was dismantled at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France;
  • In the UK, fraudsters were caught selling bogus COVID-19 documents for GBP 100;
  • In December 2020, a fraudster was apprehended by the Spanish National Police for selling fake test results for EUR 40.

Europol received additional intelligence on the alleged use of a mobile application by the Rathkeale Rovers Mobile Organised Crime Group which allows members of the organised crime group to manually falsify test results.

Given the widespread technological means available, in the form of high-quality printers and different software, fraudsters are able to produce high-quality c
counterfeit, forged or fake documents.

Member States are encouraged to share any relevant information on criminal activities related to fake COVID-19 test documentation with Europol.

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