Montreal — Quebec’s anti-corruption department states that it is conducting a “massive” investigation into alleged fraud related to the manufacture and sale of fake COVID-19 vaccine passports.
Police known as UPAC say that people who create, sell, or use fake COVID-19 vaccination documents may face criminal charges such as breach of trust, corruption, and public health law accusations. I warned you.
UPAC said in a news release Wednesday that it was considering the various fraud strategies used, but said it did not want to compromise on ongoing investigations and did not elaborate.
UPAC spokesman Mathieu Galarneau confirmed that the unit has begun investigating about 30 suspected forged passports. The military mission is to eradicate corruption, including illegal acts involving civil servants and elected officials.
Quebécois are forced to present evidence of vaccination before entering restaurants, bars, gyms and recreational facilities that have been closed since December to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. The government has expanded its vaccine passports to liquor stores and cannabis stores this week. These stores remain open during the blockade. You will need your passport at a large store starting next week.
Garalno said he could not confirm how many counterfeit passports could have been created, but said the investigation was “large.”
There is no charge.
Garalno said the unit would not normally comment on the ongoing investigation, but made an exception because “I believe it is a serious crime that negatively impacts civilian security during a pandemic.” ..
The UPAC statement follows a recent report by La Presse and Radio-Canada that vaccination site employees were paid to register unvaccinated people as vaccinated.
Health Minister Christian Duvet said Thursday that the government is always aware of potential fraud, given the number of employees in the network. He said his department had contacted UPAC about a suspected passport fraud case shortly after the system was first deployed in September.
“It’s a shame that some employees did what they did,” he told reporters in Montreal.
“Not only the person who created the passport, but also the person who bought the passport could be criminally liable,” he said.
According to Dube, the government has updated the smartphone application needed to verify passports and recognize counterfeit documents.
Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Thursday morning that various police in the state had launched about 150 investigations into fake vaccination documents.
She said UPAC is investigating cases including fraud or attempted fraud by civil servants, and state and city police are investigating non-government users and sellers. She said the fake passport would be invalid and could be prosecuted if it was found that she was using her passport.
Galalno recommended that anyone with information about a fake passport contact UPAC.
Along Morgan Raleigh