The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) has exposed a criminal group in the Chernivtsi region that has set up an illegal mechanism for the production and sale of forged documents required for unimpeded border crossing under Covid-19, the press service of the SSU reports.
It was organized by three Chernivtsi residents in the spring of this year. They even rented an office for the needs of their business. Customers were sought through carriers.
The attackers forged certificates SARS-CoV-2 about the absence of coronavirus infection; international vaccination certificates and even agreements with foreign employers (under severe lockdown, some countries closed their borders for tourists, but remained available to foreigners working in them).
For non-citizens of Ukraine, the attackers also had a set of services: they produced the results of PCR tests, allegedly made abroad, and insurance policies. Everything was done in a short time and without visiting medical institutions.
According to the investigation, the cost of services ranged from $7,50 for a forged certificate of PCR test results to $112,50 for a full package of documents required for a Ukrainian citizen to travel abroad. The attackers estimated the package for a foreigner at $37,50.
Such illegal activities brought up to $19.000 of net income per month.
During searches conducted in the office and at the addresses of registration, permanent residence, and temporary stay of the scheme participants, law enforcement officers seized:
- special equipment for production and forgery of documents and computers with evidence of illegal activity;
- forged stamps and seals of Ukrainian and foreign companies and public health facilities of Chernivtsi and other regions;
- ready-made forms and equipment for hologram application.
“Within the framework of the criminal proceedings initiated under Part 3 of Article 332 (“Illegal transfer of persons across the state border of Ukraine”) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, investigative actions are underway. The issue of notifying the suspects of the suspects is currently being resolved,” the statement reads.
As it was reported earlier, Ukraine's Healthcare Ministry came up with information on the new domestic Covid certificates, explaining what kind of data it is going to include.