12 people suspected of being involved in manufacturing and selling fake COVID-19 vaccine certificates have been arrested in Germany. According to Deutsche Welle, these fake documents are believed to have been sold for more than 400 euros each, TheSchengen.com reports.
More than 200 police officers took part in such work, which was carried out at 23 locations across the central German state and two cities in the neighboring state of Baden-Württemberg.
Vaccine certificates included a QR code, which is also required as proof of vaccination. The majority of bars, restaurants, and other recreational facilities require proof of vaccination or recovery from infection, while others allow proof of a recent negative test.
In this regard, Matthias Marks of hacking group Chaos Computer Club (CCC) told DW that the demand for such certifications will likely increase.
“The stricter the rules for the unvaccinated, the greater the incentive to get a counterfeit. And then someone will introduce it.”
According to Deutsche Welle, Germany has one of the highest rates of vaccine deniers refusing to be vaccinated against the virus.
Due to the rapid spread of the Corona virus and its new strains, governments across European countries have imposed entry bans and other preventive measures in an effort to stop the disease from spreading further.
In an effort to facilitate travel amid the ongoing COVID-19 situation, authorities in European Union countries, as well as governments around the world, have announced that they will allow vaccinated travelers with a valid vaccination document to travel to other countries without being obligated to do so. Subject to additional entry requirements and entry rules.
However, many European countries have reported selling fake COVID-19 certificates to people without such documents.
Previously, the European Union Law Enforcement Cooperation Agency (Europol) warned the authorities of European countries against selling fake COVID-19 documents after several cases were discovered in European countries.
Previously, Italian authorities announced that they had dismantled some online schemes providing fake COVID-19 digital certificates to the European Union.
TheSchengen.com reported that an Irish citizen was selling COVID-19 vaccine certificates to people who had not yet been immunized but wished to travel abroad without restrictions.
Previously, authorities in the European Union also conducted an investigation after it was discovered that the digital key used to sign and verify the EU’s COVID-19 certificate had been leaked.
In addition, during the same week, several tokens of fake COVID-19 documents were circulating online.