Crime – Munich – Vaccination fraud: Investigators expect a high number of unreported cases – Bavaria

Munich (dpa / lby) – Even if a decrease was initially observed in January – cases of counterfeit vaccination certificates are still part of everyday life for the police in the Free State. The Bavarian Ministry of the Interior announced that there were a total of 4066 reports of document offenses in connection with the corona vaccination topic by Monday. Around 5,500 vaccination cards and certificates were secured. However, many more people in Bavaria have an incorrect vaccination status: “Unfortunately, we have to assume that there is a large number of unreported cases,” said the ministry.

338 cases were registered in October, 1070 in November and 1979 in December. It was about counterfeit stickers, certificates, labels, stamps and proof of recovery. The ministry said there had been a sharp increase since November 24 in particular. On that day, a new set of corona rules came into force that was intended to close gaps in criminal liability in the area. Since then, the submission of false health certificates at pharmacies or at work has also been prosecuted – previously the law only specifically mentioned “authorities or insurance companies”. In the first two weeks of January, the police recorded a decline again with 379 cases.

According to the findings of the State Criminal Police Office, a large proportion of the counterfeit vaccination cards are offered on the Internet. This can be on the dark web, but also “openly” on channels such as WhatsApp, Telegram or Facebook. There are also individual cases in which potential “customers” were specifically recruited at corona-related events.

Occasionally, doctors were also caught issuing certificates without having vaccinated their patients. Only last Thursday there was a large-scale raid in four federal states on around 100 patients of a Swabian family doctor. Around 80 vaccination cards were secured, and blood was drawn from around 50 suspects to clarify the vaccination status. In Lower Bavaria, two doctors have been suspected of falsifying the vaccination certificates of opponents of vaccination and administering diluted vaccine to other patients since December.

In October, investigators arrested fraudsters in Munich who are said to have used the IT infrastructure of a pharmacy to produce fake vaccination certificates – more than 500 within a month alone. “Our police officers are specially trained to recognize fake vaccination certificates,” the ministry said.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220119-99-762574/2