France investigates hundreds of fake vaccines

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France is stepping up investigations into the increasingly widespread false vaccines certificates.

To date, 400 investigations have been opened. 100 people were arrested.

According to the Interior Ministry, there have been 110,000 false health permits in France since the approval of this document in the summer.

A network that collected profiles of pharmacists on the National Union of Pharmacists website managed to sell between 5,000 and 10,000 fake licenses and made profits of nearly two million euros.

AFP learned from a source close to the case that the investigation, still ongoing, found a couple involved who were arrested by the police in early December.

“More than 100 people have been arrested in connection with 400 ongoing investigations,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmannan said on Thursday. According to those around him, the arrests included fake license users and trafficking networks.

Investigators discovered various methods of action, including selling fake vaccination certificates online and fraudulent use of a third-party QR code. The authorities are also tracking health professionals and administrative agents who issue false permits.

In a statement to AFP, the commander of the gendarmerie specializing in cyber-investigations, General Marc Puget, said: “We have seen a sharp increase in this phenomenon since the summer on social networks, but it has not There has been no increase since the decision was made not to pay for exams for unvaccinated people. “

This team is carrying out around 200 investigations into false health certificates, estimated at 92,000.

Health insurance also participates in investigations by identifying cases of fraud through statistical analysis techniques in the immunization monitoring database, and analyzing the data (search and verification of various databases) and using the ‘artificial intelligence.

Several “major” electronic investigations are underway on the hacking of accounts of doctors and pharmacists, according to the circles of the Ministry of the Interior.

– ‘Organized crime’ –

“We are witnessing an increasingly complex way of working, with fraudsters remotely modifying the passwords of health professionals, then creating permits in their name”, explains General Puget.

These networks are similar to “organized crime with the presence of guides, accomplices, traders and criminals who take advantage of the will of some not to vaccinate”, according to the general.

In Hérault, in the south of France, investigators arrested a firefighter and a physiotherapist who will be tried in February for having provided certificates of 123 rapid false negative examinations of about thirty of their relatives.

The false certificates enabled the 35 beneficiaries to undertake activities and “leisure trips”.

The firefighter used the identifiers of a physiotherapist in Montpellier, capital of Hérault, to obtain certificates on the website dedicated to the Directorate for the examination of certificates from the Fire and Rescue Service.

Using a false document is an offense punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of € 45,000. As for disciplinary measures, they can go as far as a definitive ban on exercising the profession, according to health insurance.

In the Paris region, a doctor was arrested at the end of November, suspected of having sold at least 220 false health certificates for 1,000 euros each, according to the Créteil prosecutor’s office.

Health Minister Olivier Veran warned that “if a healthcare professional engages in corruption by providing false health claims to patients, it is criminal behavior, and I hope justice will do its job with it. the greatest firmness “.

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