Three more detained on suspicion of fake vaccination in Sigulda, Latvia

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Three healthcare workers in Sigulda have been detained on suspicion of providing or receiving fake Covid-19 certificates. Criminal proceedings have been initiated, the State Police (VP) said November 17.

On October 11 of this year, a citizen addressed the VP suspecting a person holding a Covid-19 certificate without having received the vaccine. The VP Sigulda precinct initiated criminal proceedings to verify this information, and it was reportedly confirmed. Thus, at the beginning of this week, one issuer of a fictitious certificate and two beneficiaries were detained.

The investigation showed that a woman born in 1970 had obtained a valid Covid-19 vaccination certificate without getting the vaccine. It was provided to her for free by an acquaintance born in 1971, a member of the Sigulda Medical Institution, whose duties include the input of the data of the vaccinated persons into the system. After a search at the workplace of that person, it has been established that such illegal data entry was made for another woman born in 1970.

The issuer of the fictitious certificate is facing criminal proceedings in accordance with the fifth paragraph of Article 243 of the Criminal Law, for interfering with the operation of an automated data-processing system and unlawful conduct with the information contained in that system, if it has caused serious consequences or if such actions are directed against an automated data-processing system that processes information related to the political, economic, military, social or other security of the State. The punishment for such an offense can be deprivation of liberty for a period of up to seven years, with or without seizure of property, and subject to probation supervision for up to three years.

On the other hand, criminal proceedings have been initiated against the two women who obtained this certificate, following the first paragraph of Article 275 of the Criminal Law, for the falsification or use of a document granting rights or waiving duties, and for the sale or use of a falsified document, seal or stamp. Such infringement may be subject to deprivation of liberty for a period of up to one year or temporary deprivation of liberty, or forced labor or a fine.

The detainees worked in different positions in the health sector and already have been banned from working. 

All three detained persons were brought to antibody testing during the investigation and the negative results of the first detained person's antibody test confirmed that the person had unlawfully obtained the Covid-19 certificate. The other parties have not yet received the test results, the VP indicated.

The investigation into criminal proceedings continues and police suspect there could be other cases where people have received Covid-19 certificates without vaccination.

The VP calls on people to voluntarily give themselves in to the police thereby providing for the possibility of avoiding criminal liability.

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