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Georgian authorities charge nine with forging COVID passports

26 October 2021
Photo: Ministry of Finance of Georgia.

The Ministry of Finance of Georgia has brought charges against nine people for producing and using forged COVID-19 passports confirming vaccination and negative test results. 

According to the ministry’s investigative department, they discovered two cases of passports being forged, in Tbilisi and Imereti Region. 

One person has so far been arrested, for charging €140 ($160), for two forged COVID-19 passports in Tbilisi. 

According to the ministry, the passports were used to avoid mandatory quarantine while travelling abroad.

Their statement said that the detainee had entered false information indicating that the recipient had a full course COVID-19 vaccination and negative results of laboratory tests.

The ministry said they had seized the forged documents, stamps, and forged COVID-19 passports intended for sale to others, as well as computer equipment used to produce them.

Another case identified eight people in Imereti who the authorities said  ‘in order to circumvent the coronavirus control regulations when crossing the state border, bought and used forged documents reflecting the negative results of the coronavirus PCR laboratory test issued on behalf of medical institutions’. 

According to their statement, those charged face imprisonment for up to three years.

This is not the first case of forged COVID-19 passports in Georgia. In August the State Security Service of Georgia said they had arrested seven people for producing and buying fake COVID-19 passports.

Only 32% of the population has so far been fully vaccinated in Georgia while local health authorities have warned that the country has entered a fifth wave of the pandemic.

[Read on OC Media: Georgian PM ‘won’t allow’ compulsory vaccination]

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