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Sales of fake certificates of negative COVID-19 test results more frequent in Moscow

Currently five criminal cases have been opened, about ten instances are being checked

MOSCOW, December 9. /TASS/. Moscow’s public prosecutor’s office has increased the monitoring of websites selling false certificates of negative test results for the presence of the coronavirus infection due to their increased sales, acting chief of the department on overseeing implementation of the federal legislation of the capital prosecutor’s office Dmitry Romanov told TASS on Wednesday.

"The demand for medical certificates of the absence of the coronavirus infection among the citizens is growing. Since spring 2020, illegal schemes on selling false certificates of the absence of COVID-19 appeared on the internet, in autumn instances of sales of fake certificates became more frequent," he said.

According to him, the public prosecutor’s office is constantly monitoring the media outlets and the internet and warns the citizens that using false certificates is a criminal liability. "Currently five criminal cases have been opened, about ten instances are being checked. Since illegal offers of certificate sales were posted on the internet, Moscow’s public prosecutor’s office undertook measures to block five websites and to declare the information posted therein illegal for dissemination in the territory of the Russian Federation," he added.

He noted that the perpetrators offer to purchase certificates without any tests or screening. The advantage is dubious since on average the price of a fake certificate is comparable to the average price of a test for the presence of the coronavirus. The fake certificates are similar to the legal ones and in order to check their authenticity an expert evaluation or an inquiry are needed. The agency’s interlocutor reiterated that the production, sales, and use of falsified documents can result in an administrative or a criminal liability.

The official also mentioned another problem related to the coronavirus testing in Moscow: one of the private clinics issued certificates without sending samples of their clients to a laboratory for testing for the presence of the coronavirus. A criminal case charging fraud was opened.