Italian police bust fake coronavirus passport network

Covid Vaccine Travel Passport
Covid Vaccine Travel Passport Image Source:

Italian investigators have seized several channels and accounts of the chat app Telegram, through which criminals were offering digital certificates for the EU-wide coronavirus vaccination certificate.

A total of 10 channels and accounts were involved, which led users to anonymous accounts on marketplaces on the dark web – a part of the internet that is not accessible through normal browsing – the Guardia di Finanza financial police announced in Rome on Saturday.

On the online trading sites, sellers are said to have offered forgeries for the digital certificate in exchange for payment in cryptocurrencies.

The certificate attests to full vaccination protection against Covid-19 and is important for travel within the EU. It has been dubbed the “green passport.”

According to the Guardia di Finanza, the price was the equivalent of between 110 and 130 euros (131-154 dollars).

Thousands of users had registered on the Telegram channels, it continued. Vials with an alleged vaccine against Covid-19 were also offered for sale there.

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