The use of wrong vaccination certificates can recently lead to a prison sentence of up to two years. Thousands of proceedings are already ongoing. One federal state in particular recorded a high number of forgeries.
At least 3,100 investigations into forged vaccination passports are already in progress in Germany. That was the result of a poll published on Friday by “Wirtschaftswoche” among the 16 state criminal investigation offices. Around 900 preliminary investigations are being conducted in Bavaria alone. In Cologne, the public prosecutor reported on 70 preliminary investigations this year. However, the state criminal investigation offices assume a considerable number of unreported cases.
According to the report, the Federal Criminal Police Office observed “on various messenger channels” an increased demand for fake vaccination books. In Saxony-Anhalt, for example, evidence of this type of forgery has tripled since May. In Bavaria, a pharmacy employee under a pseudonym sold 500 fake QR codes for the digital Corona vaccination card on the Darknet in October alone at a price of 350 euros each.
The German Pharmacists’ Association itself assumes nationwide “a four-digit number of investigative proceedings” based on falsified yellow vaccination books that were presented in pharmacies. Citizens with manipulated passports have so far had little to fear under criminal law if they were caught. Only those who officially used forged health documents with authorities or insurance companies, but not in pharmacies or restaurants, made themselves a criminal offense.
The legislature has now closed this loophole. With immediate effect, falsifying, issuing and using incorrect health documents can be punished with a prison sentence of up to two years, in the case of commercial or gang-related deception up to five years. The pharmacists’ association expects this to have “a deterrent effect”.