Spain arrests seven suspects for selling fake COVID certificates in EUComments
Spanish police say they have arrested seven people on suspicion of selling fake COVID-19 health passes across the European Union.
The group is accused of falsely registering an estimated 1,600 people on Spain's national vaccination index.
The suspects allegedly advertised fake test results and vaccine certificates in online messaging forums dedicated to COVID-19 deniers and anti-vaccine voices.
The forged PCR test results were sold for around €50, while fake vaccine passes were available for between €200 and €1000 each, according to investigators.
The group also allegedly demanded payment for the forged health passes in cryptocurrencies and used foreign bank accounts to make it harder to trace their operations.
Six people were arrested in Madrid and one other suspect in Barcelona, police said in a statement.
Spanish authorities say they have also identified the leader of the group -- who was operating in France -- and have notified their French counterparts.
Police say the international criminal gang may have also recruited health professionals to help them gain access to the country's vaccine register. Further investigations are underway into potential theft of confidential access codes, they added.