Counterfeit coronavirus test certificates have been reported again recently, with seven such forgeries found over the weekend at Tallinn Airport, among passengers planning to board departures.
Jelena Mirošnitšenko of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), told BNS that: "Over the weekend, random checks on air passengers continued and a total of more than a thousand passengers' certificates were reviewed. As a result of inspections carried out since February 18, we have detected a total of seven counterfeits and charged two people."
Individuals had either been forging the documentation themselves, or paid money for it, she added.
"It is unfortunate that, in a situation where we should keep each other healthy and reduce additional contacts to prevent the spread of the virus, people decide to make a forged certificate themselves, or to obtain one, to prove a negative coronavirus test. This endangers not only their own health, but also the health of other passengers and residents of the country of arrival. I would like to remind the public that the forgery and use of any official document is tantamount to a criminal offense punishable by a fine or three years' imprisonment," she added.
The PPA has been conducting spot checks at Tallinn Airport, together with personnel from the private sector SYNLAB firm, with over 500 passengers boarding flights to Frankfurt, Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh coming into the spotlight.
Jelena Mirošnitšenko said that: "PPA officers were already trained in forged certificate recognition. If the officer had any doubts, a SYNLAB representative checked the laboratory's information system to see if the person had taken the test at the time indicated on the certificate. A total of 520 passengers were checked, and five forged certificates were detected."
The PPA says that criminal proceedings have been initiated where required, that more work is being done to ascertain the scale of the problem, and that the PPA/SYNLAB collaboration continues this week.
Editor: Andrew Whyte