Thousands of fraudulent COVID certificates issued in Switzerland
A report by CH Media has revealed that fraudulent COVID certificates are commonplace throughout Switzerland. The report found one instance where 6.000 false certificates were created before the government intervened, and the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has acknowledged that more needs to be done to stop false certificates.
6.000 false COVID certificate issued in St. Gallen
Last Friday, Swiss journalists uncovered the story that 6.000 genuine COVID certificates were issued in St. Gallen fraudulently. The extent of the fraud will only be revealed once the authorities have concluded their investigation, which is now underway. Despite the underlying certificate being “forgery-proof,” the problem arises when certificates are issued in error, on false information or are created by criminals.
The story from St. Gallen joins reports from earlier in the year that some Swiss cantons were not issuing certificates correctly. The government announced that all certificates that abuse the system will be revoked, and the FOPH said they were working on new ways to detect fraudulent claims.
It will be up to cantons to police the certificate
Across the country, there have been reports of fraudulent COVID certificates. “Super users" - individuals who give others permission to issue certificates in each canton, have failed to contain the rise in fraudulent COVID passes. So far, Watson and other media outlets have uncovered incidences of fraud in St. Gallen, Bern, Fribourg, Schaffhausen, Vaud, Geneva and Zurich.
Nani Moras, spokesperson for the FOPH, said that “it is not possible for the federal government to intervene or control unjustly issued certificates directly,” and that it was ultimately up to the cantons to make sure certificates were issued correctly. Despite an increased number of fraud cases, Watson reported that the extent of the problem remains unknown.