Criminal liability planned for buying fake Covid certificates

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The Saeima will soon view amendments to the Criminal Law that provide for criminal liability regarding the purchase of a fake vaccination, testing or recovery certificate, Latvian Radio reported October 21.

The Criminal Law already contains Article 275, which provides for a penalty for the production, marketing, and use of falsified documents. However, there is no responsibility for purchasing them. Therefore, when discovering another scheme with dozens or hundreds of false certificates, the police must prove that every buyer of the falsified document actually used it, for example, to enter a shop or cross the border.

In order to facilitate police work, MPs have drafted amendments to the law, which provides for a penalty of the fact of purchase itself.

“We all realize that when you buy a certificate like that, no one is doing it for fun. It is purchased to use. If we clearly stated in the article that the acquisition is criminal, then the police should not spend such huge resources,” explained MP Andrejs Judins (New Unity).

The maximum penalty for obtaining a counterfeit certificate would be a one-year period of imprisonment.

The amendments also provide that a person who has voluntarily announced the purchase of a counterfeit certificate would be free from criminal liability.

The Saeima Legal Affairs Committee will evaluate this draft in the coming days.

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