Authorities in Brussels have warned that travelers who attempt to use fake PCR tests to travel risk being fined and even going to jail, as the government will show no tolerance for lawbreakers.
Three people who tried to travel with fake COVID-19 PCR tests earlier this year are facing six months in prison after authorities in Belgium declared them guilty. Besides, they have also been subject to €1,600, according to the Brussels Times.
“The government’s preventive policy stands or conflicts with the authenticity of these documents. This is why we have zero tolerance for such crimes,” the attorney general noted, according to TheSchengen.com.
Earlier this month, officials in Belgium urged their citizens to be vigilant as many fake websites offer to fill out Passenger Locator Locator Forms (PLF) in the name of FPS Public Health for money.
“Currently, there are fake websites that offer to fill out fake PLF forms. In this, private information is wrongly requested and payment is made on behalf of FPS Public Health. These sites are not owned by us and constitute a fraud attempt,” a statement previously issued by info-coronavirus.be.
In February this year, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) published an early warning notice about the sale of fake COVID-19 test documents, after several cases were reported in this regard in European countries.
Through a statement, Europol stressed that several cases of fake COVID-19 documents have been reported across European countries.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, many countries have imposed preventive measures, including bans and restrictions, as part of efforts to stop the spread of the virus. However, even amid the pandemic, many governments have allowed entry to travelers who have tested negative for coronavirus upon arrival.
The requirements prompted travelers to obtain such documents in order to travel abroad, even by choosing illegal ways to obtain such documents.
TheSchengen.com previously reported that authorities in Romania have also reported several cases of travelers trying to purchase fake COVID-19 vaccination documents in order to travel abroad.
Similarly, in July, police officers in Italy reported that they had dismantled some schemes that were offering to sell fake EU COVID-19 digital certificates. This investigation was organized by the Milan Cybercrime Public Prosecutor’s Office, while revealing that a large number of Italians are willing to pay for these illegal documents.
Police officials uncovered the scheme with the help of artificial intelligence tools that allowed them to oversee the web and communicate with potential customers.