A man suspected of being involved in selling forged COVID-19 vaccine certificates, or yellow cards, was arrested on Sunday by police in New Taipei City.
Police said they had received a tip-off that a person was allegedly selling fake COVID-19 vaccination certificates and stickers that can be affixed to National Health Insurance cards as proof of vaccination.
The man had allegedly placed an advertisement in the online marketplace Shopee.
Photo: Chang Tsung-chiu, Taipei Times
The advertisement claimed that buyers could simply fill out their name and identification number on the yellow cards themselves, and that with a matte protective cover, it would be difficult to distinguish the fake cards from the real ones.
The city’s criminal investigation division launched an investigation and found that the vaccination record specified on the certificate posted on the Web site was that of the seller. Based on that information, police targeted a 27-year-old man, surnamed Cheng (鄭), who lives in New Taipei City’s Banqiao District (板橋).
In collaboration with the New Taipei City District Prosecutors’ Office, police arrested the man at his residence on Sunday night.
Police said that the unemployed Cheng floated the idea of reaping illegal gains by selling fake vaccine certificates after the government earlier this month tightened COVID-19 prevention regulations, requiring people considered to be at greater risk of contracting the virus to show proof of having had three vaccine shots.
The regulations also require people who visit recreational venues offering escort services and gym patrons to have received three vaccine doses.
The case has been referred to prosecutors, and Cheng is facing charges of forgery and fraud.
Meanwhile, police reminded people not to buy or use fake vaccination certificates, warning that they could face a fine of up to NT$15,000 for contravening the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法).
Shopee in a statement yesterday said that the ad had been removed from its Web site and it had provided relevant data to the police.
It also promised to continue monitoring falsified products to help the government’s disease prevention efforts.
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