Mozambican police have busted a racket that was illegally issuing fake COVID-19 negative results at the country’s border with South Africa.
National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) spokesman Hilario Lole said four individuals were arrested between mid-March and April 12 for being members of an organized criminal gang that operated from the Ressano Garcia border post and issued fake negative COVID-19 results to people wishing to travel to South Africa.
“Three of them are health workers,” Lole told journalists on Thursday.
As with most other countries, South Africa requires that Mozambicans wishing to enter the country should produce medical certificates showing that they do not have COVID-19.
The prohibitive cost of acquiring such certificates has created a thriving black market where syndicates produce such documents for a small fee.
The cost of acquiring the clearance certificate at medical centres ranges from US$60 to US$120, yet the same documents are sold for as low as US$10 on the black market.
Similar cases have been reported at the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa where several people have been arrested for issuing the fake COVID-19 clearance certificates.