Eleven of 16 state police departments provided figures for the outlet’s investigation, revealing that more than 2,500 cases have been reported since the beginning of the year.
The findings come a few days after Germany tightened measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and allow only vaccinated people and those who have recovered from the disease to have access to many public spaces.
What did the newspaper discover?
World on sunday He noted that most of the 2,500 false certificate reports were made in the past few weeks.
The southern state of Bavaria recorded 1,286 of these incidents, including the falsification of vaccination cards, seals and certificate stickers, about half of them in November.
Hermann also said that falsifying certificates is not a “trivial crime” and that “these people are putting the lives of others at risk.” His comments come after Germany surpassed 100,000 COVID-19 deaths this week.
Several hundred cases of false vaccination documents were also recorded in the states of Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony. North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, and Hesse, where the city of Frankfurt is located, did not provide case numbers.
Where were the certificates sold?
Initially it was reported that the trade in false certificates took place in closed channels such as the Telegram messaging service, but World on sunday discovered that they are now offered on open platforms like Instagram as well.
The newspaper’s reporters contacted several vendors and said they received responses within minutes and that the falsified health certificates would be delivered a few days later at a cost of around 200 euros ($ 226). Sellers accept bank transfers for payment and sometimes bitcoin.
Instagram owner Meta (formerly Facebook) said that the ads reported by World on sunday had been removed, and that the company continually searches for and removes similar content. Recently, the social media giant created an option only to report fake health documents.
A counterfeiter made 100,000 euros
A separate investigation from the magazine Wirtschaftswoche He told how the employee of a Munich pharmacy earned 100,000 euros selling more than 500 fraudulent vaccination certificates on the darknet.
For this, it is alleged that the worker obtained unauthorized access to the pharmacy network and illegally generated the QR codes of the digital vaccination book.
The business magazine conducted its own analysis of counterfeit reports and found that at least 3,100 investigations are currently underway in Germany.
Meanwhile, two Dutch citizens were charged with trying to enter Germany with false vaccination certificates. The 49-year-old man and his 46-year-old wife were detained for a random check at the border shortly after midnight Thursday. (rr / ee)