Friday, November 26th, 2021
Legislators close loophole
3000 proceedings for forged vaccination passports
Since the beginning of the year there have been around 3,000 proceedings against forged vaccination passports – the number of unreported violations is, however, significantly higher. While the perpetrators have so far mostly got away with impunity, the legislature is now following suit and threatening the forgeries with imprisonment.
In Germany, at least 3100 investigations into falsified vaccination records are already in progress. This was the result of a survey now published by “Wirtschaftswoche” among the 16 state criminal police offices (LKA). Around 900 preliminary investigations are being conducted in Bavaria alone. In Cologne, the public prosecutor reported on 70 preliminary investigations this year.
However, the LKA assume a considerable number of unreported cases. According to the report, the Federal Criminal Police Office observed “on various messenger channels” an increased demand for forged vaccination certificates. In Saxony-Anhalt, for example, evidence of this type of forgery has tripled since May. In Bavaria, a pharmacy employee under a pseudonym sold 500 fake QR codes for the digital Corona vaccination card on the Darknet in October alone at a price of 350 euros each.
The German Pharmacists’ Association itself assumes nationwide “a four-digit number of investigative proceedings” based on forged yellow vaccination certificates that were presented in pharmacies.
Loophole now closed
Citizens with manipulated passports have so far had little to fear under criminal law if they were caught. Only those who officially used forged health documents at authorities or insurance companies, but not in pharmacies or restaurants, made themselves a criminal offense. The legislature has now closed this loophole.
From now on, forgery, issuing and the use of incorrect health documents can be punished with a prison sentence of up to two years, in the case of commercial or gang-related deception up to five years. The pharmacists’ association expects this to have “a deterrent effect”.