Travelers are buying – or faking – negative COVID-19 tests to get around entry requirements

With COVID-19 tests becoming a common entry requirement for countries and states, a black market has popped up to serve travelers who need test results taken within a few days of departure.

Last week, French police arrested seven people for selling falsified negative test results at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle International Airport, which is Europe’s largest. Prosecutors said the suspects were charging between $180-360 for fake certificates.

The arrests were the fruits of an investigation that began with fake documentation from a passenger bound for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

If convicted, the suspects face up to five years in prison and nearly a half million dollars in fines.

The practice of falsifying COVID test results has also popped up in South America. Last month, police arrested four Brazilian tourists for presenting altered testing documents when they arrived via private plane in Fernando de Noronha, an island chain off that country’s northern coast that requires negative COVID-19 test results no older than 24 hours.

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