SPANISH Policia Nacional have arrested 31 Romanian citizens on the Spanish-French border in the town of La Junquera, in Girona province, for travelling with false PCRs.
After a tip off from French police in mid-March regarding the existence of the falsified certificates, the UCRIF in Girona, the unit specialising in fighting illegal immigration and document falsification, stepped up controls on the Spanish-French border for possible forgeries committed by European Union citizens travelling to their respective countries.
Thanks to information exchanged between Spanish and French police, the UCRIF uncovered 31 fake PCR tests on a Romanian-bound bus.
The fraudulent certificates bore the name of Spanish laboratories.
These companies confirmed that the PCR code had been tampered with and all 31 passengers on the bus were arrested and taken into custody by the Spanish Policia Nacional.
After giving a statement to the police, the Romanian citizens were released with charges for attempting to travel with counterfeit COVID-19 proofs.
The investigation is ongoing to establish responsibilities and determine all parties involved in the document falsification.
Since February, Europol has warned of fake negative COVID-19 certificates being sold across Europe.
“As long as travel restrictions remain in place due to the COVID-19 situation, it is highly likely that production and sales of fake test certificates will prevail,” Europol informed.
“Given the widespread technological means available, in the form of high-quality printers and different software, fraudsters are able to produce high-quality counterfeit, forged or fake documents.” they said, warning that ‘member states should be vigilant.’