Woman Jailed For Six Months Over Fake COVID-19 Test Result

Filed Under: Travel

A lot of places require a negative coronavirus test result to travel. Some people seem to think it’s easier to just fake a test result, so here’s a good reminder of why you shouldn’t do that, as reported by The Nassau Guardian.

Six months jail in Bahamas over fake test

A 21-year-old Bahamian mother was just sentenced to six months in jail on counts of possession of a forged document and uttering a forged document. The woman was traveling between Inagua and Abaco, and the Bahamas has an inter-island testing requirement.

On April 7 the traveler arrived at Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS), and she had to present her negative test result to a COVID-19 ambassador. The ambassador compared the electronic test result that was on the woman’s iPhone XR to an authentic one, and determined it was fraudulent.

At that point the police was called. The woman admitted the test result was fake. She claimed:

  • Her father sent her the negative test result digitally
  • She had previously taken a COVID-19 test for work, but the results had expired

Why was the punishment so strict?

During sentencing, the judge decided a six month jail sentence was appropriate because the traveler showed a lack of remorse, and also because of the “extreme seriousness” of the charges and the possible effects.

For what it’s worth, in the Bahamas you could face up to a $2,000 fine and/or two years of jail time for presenting a fake coronavirus test, so I suppose she didn’t even get the maximum punishment.

The police also released a statement following the incident, using her as an example. As they warned:

“In recent weeks it has come to the attention of the Royal Bahamas Police Force that a growing number of Bahamians are seeking to carry out COVID-19 testing through unofficial means. In the last week, several people have been brought before the courts and charged. The Royal Bahamas Police Force is warning Bahamians against obtaining fake COVID-19 tests.

The Commissioner Paul Rolle and his team are advising all citizens, residents and visitors to go through the correct procedures when obtaining such documentation for travel or otherwise. We urge you to take this warning seriously to avoid prosecution and to help keep you, your family and the wider community healthy.”

Bottom line

A 21-year-old mother in the Bahamas is being jailed for six months after presenting a fake negative COVID-19 test result for inter-island travel.

I would imagine that this happens more often than you’d think, though presumably it’s not always caught, and most places don’t have punishments as strict as in the Bahamas. I imagine this trend will only spread as places increasingly open up to vaccinated travelers and not others. After all, faking a vaccine card could be just as easy as faking a coronavirus test result.

What do you make of the six month sentence for a fake coronavirus test result?

  1. Good. This is a global pandemic and this is a potentially fatal illness for a lot of people. Six months is long enough to deter this type of nonsense, but not so much that it would ruin someone’s life permanently.

  2. There are millions of forgeries everyday- especially with Covid. Stupid government rules breed stupid ways to get around them. People need to take back control of their own lives and their own risk assessments. We all have but one life to live- time to live it again. @john this will it deter one thing, not even one. Get a grip.

  3. @Will Someone forging a term paper or a fake driver’s license to get alcohol ain’t this. Testing and tracking is a key part of limiting the spread, the outbreak, and all the negative impacts. And “not even one”? Right. I’m sure you’ve got some solid evidence for that assertion. Maybe it’s not going to have as big an impact as I think, but this sort of absurd hyperbole does you no favors.

    Forging a negative certificate has nothing to do with living your life, this is someone whose too chaffed to be inconvenienced by a test that takes 5 seconds to administer and 24 hours to get results in a lot of cases. This is lazy, selfish behavior on this woman’s part.

  4. @Will – the kind of selfish attitude and lack of respect for others’ lives that you’ve displayed in your comment is precisely why millions of people are dead from this virus. For those of us who have lost loved ones during this pandemic, six months will never get us back what we’ve lost.

  5. Wow, those piling on really need to get a grip. COVID is endemic in Bahamas and where you live (willing to bet those screaming loudest are Americans). US government is so corrupt they won’t even ask people traveling domestically to be tested, which is general equivalent here. COVID ain’t going away based on compliance with testing rules. Is she wrong? yep. Should be punished? Sure. Should someone sit in jail for something that is legal in your hometown? Give me a break. Covid hypocrite. Next time you jaywak – 9 months in in sing sing. @ Ben, shame on you for egging these fools on.

  6. There were significant numbers of people who were wishing for an apocalypse. They hated their reality and hated the drudgery of their lives. They secretly desired some catastrophe to wipe away society as they knew it. Plenty of end-of-times TV shows tapped into this wish over the last decade.

    And now they’ve got COVID-19. It’s not quite the apocalypse they hoped for but it will have to do. They will strongly oppose anything approaching a ‘2019-style normal’. They’ll indulge this masochism as long as they can also play the other side and sadistically impose the whole new regime on the rest of society too.

    They are for mask mandates, forever and everywhere, and vaccine passports that also punish and strictly limit anyone not vaccinated (including banning them from shopping, etc.). They oppose any step toward what the USA was before COVID. They also support limits on free speech and the vetting of science by social media.

    These people know this on some level.

  7. Recently we’ve read the reports of fake vaccines: no one would be surprised that Thailand was the location of the first case: an army medic vaccinating soldiers ( charging them $30) with what turned out to be plain water. Now on the lam.
    One fully expects faking of test results to become commonplace, in the absence of a universally agreed and monitored scheme.

  8. @Ralph and @John Someone traveling has had nearly no effect on the millions of deaths from COVID- the vast vast majority of spread is from close contact indoor gatherings. A large body of research is now contending that lockdowns and the like only exacerbated the issues, as did random government maneuvers (closing parks, vectoring people toward each other indoors, mixed messaging form the onset). Virtue signal away, the fact is nearly all government mitigation programs have failed- in spectacular fashion. The deaths have been horrendous, there is no doubt, as has the cost on the stability and peace in the globe. Darker times are coming socially, economically, and in austerity measures from immense debt and fracturing in society. Europe is quickly running out of money, the US is making up monetary policy as it goes, etc etc. There will be real long-term consequences beyond the health component of this, and I’m sorry, but it is not “selfish” to think in a macro sense of what the next 1-5 years will look like. No one is preventing anyone from staying home- but enough is enough. “Take the vaccine” whoops- Denmark bans the AZ shot. Gov’t doesn’t always have your best interest in mind.

  9. “Why was the punishment so strict?”

    Strict? Six months is “strict”? Bullsheet. This isn’t a parking ticket.

    Anyone spreading COVID may be responsible for countless deaths (literally, it’s quantifiable — but the potential is a LOT, hundreds? thousands? more?), not to mention millions of dollars lost to their economy, and prolonging the pandemic.

    She should have been hit with the maximum penalty (and their maximum needs to be higher). Until/unless you give people a reason to fear the consequences, idiots like this will keep trying to game the system, and more people WILL die, and we all will be stuck with this pandemic forever.

    Show no mercy to the miscreants: Zero tolerance, and long jail sentences, and heavy fines.

  10. @Will you wanna jump in a burning fire. Sure, you have every right to be as stupid as you want to be, but you don’t have a right to forcefully take me with you. If you have right to live your life without any restrictions, then I too have a right to live my life without anyone deliberately infecting me with an possibly deadly virus.

    P.S. please get your self checked by a psychiatrist soon for the safety of your near and dear ones

  11. Translation of @Ole for Detroit: “Sure, you have every right to be as stupid as you want to be, but you don’t have a right to forcefully take me with you. If you have right to live your life without any restrictions, then I too have a right to live my life without anyone deliberately driving a car with a possibly deadly accidents.” Get tested. Get vaccinated. But above all please stop making logically inconsistent statements. And if you must, please don’t lead with calling others stupid. Pot; meet kettle.

  12. @ Ole, take a lap- how on earth would I be “taking you with me”- that doesn’t make a whole lot of logical sense. By your logical inconsistency you’ve proven my point- you have the right to do whatever you want, go wild- I don’t care at all, nor would I seek to decide for you what is best for you and your family/loved ones. Wear a mask or don’t; go out or don’t; travel or don’t- doesn’t matter to me. Stop policing others behaviors. Clean bill of mental health over here- you clown. The argument that spreading of Covid is tantamount to a crime is only going to prolong this quagmire and place more people against one another, personal responsibly (at this point), and personal risk assessments for something that 99%+ of healthy people survive is only logical

  13. @Will The personal responsibility argument is BS. Others’ behavior has to be policed because unfortunately the world is full of entitled brats like you. If you want to go to a public space wear mask, maintain social distance and where required show legit covid negative result. Else stay inside your cocoon.

  14. @Ole. You’ve kinda lost the argument. You just resort to name calling and your go-to sound bite. Nobody has challenged the sound bite regarding public health directives. The discussion, which you missed and have become irrelevant to, is about proportional response. Please to away and scream in your (parents?) basement by yourself.

  15. > something that 99%+ of healthy people survive

    I find it interesting that death is the only outcome that folks seem to talk about. What are the figures for so-called healthy people (whatever that means) developing a chronic illness? Because if you or—in my case—a perfectly healthy relative gets “long COVID”, I suspect you might change your tune.

  16. Very glad to hear she got this sentence. Just don’t understand why they kept calling her “mother” throughout the story. She is a female, a woman, but is it important that she is a mother? It makes her “ should have known better” or what? Should they called her “a spinster who enjoys coffee” as if would be just as stupidly inappropriate?

  17. @Ole- No. Personal responsibility is the building block of a free and open society. Equality of outcome is for the communists. Not sure how I would be classified as entitled, I support our local businesses, travel safely, spend my hard earned money, support my family, etc etc. You sound entitled with the logic that you are completely correct, and that anyone pushing back is complete wrong. Life is a gray area ‘Ole’. I would say your the one who wants a cocoon, I’m enjoying my life (cause who knows what tomorrow brings).

    @ Steven- so, what is your threshold for diseases that count as ones we should pull out all the stops economically, socially, and pragmatically to stop for long term consequences on health. Crap food in grocery stores with diabetes, smoking for lung disease, lethargy with obesity, the list goes on. It is very easy to be paralyzed by the fear, some of it warranted. I am not arguing long COVID doesn’t suck, what I’m arguing is that society needs to move toward normalcy, especially in countries like the US where the elderly and very sick are highly vaccinated. Death is a pretty important metric with a disease, and the U.S. is now below the average rate of death compared to 2019 during the same period. Protect the healthcare system, of course, keep society pent up and limited in perpetuity- not a good idea. Pressure builds under restriction, physics and sociology agree on this- eventually things burst, would be better while there isn’t too much pressure yet.

  18. @John

    Legal prohibitions against rape and murder clearly stop these things from happening. For everything you find offensive, there ought to be a law!

    For all the COVID-shamers, isn’t it likely that anyone who caught COVID-19 got it by putting himself in an unsafe situation? If you are afraid of a raging pandemic, don’t stay in poorly ventilated spaces near other people. Hundreds of thousands of people die from influenza every year. Where is the opprobrium for flu spreaders? HIV spreaders? Obesity is socially contagious and kills far more people than COVID-19. Why not ban overeating?

  19. @John. I am a physician and you need to get some facts straight.
    In the US there are about 300,000 deaths annually attributed (in some way) to obesity, but basically these are people who also have major diseases of life, like diabetes or heart disease. You don’t really die from obesity as a primary cause of death, it is the underlying reason for other conditions. Clearly, there were more deaths from COVID-19, with over 500,000. Also, obesity is not “contagious” in the sense that an infectious disease is contagious, so apples to oranges. Ban over eating? Now you are just being silly. We are not talking about personal habits we are talking about a disease that can be given to an unsuspecting neighbor.
    Flu spreaders? Well the mortality rate for seasonal flu is substantially lower (order of magnitude) than COVID-19 and the infectivity of COVID-19 is much greater because it spreads by airborne particles rather than the flu which is mostly contact with droplet nuclei on surfaces. Also COVID-19 has a much greater morbidity. As for flu deaths? Sorry it isn’t hundreds of thousands, unless you are talking world wide. In the US, we have had about 25,000 deaths per year average over 2018-2020.
    HIV? This is basically transmitted through blood or sexual contact, so doubt you have to worry like you would have to worry going to a restaurant. Also, the number of cases is substantially lower.
    We all have societal rules for the greater good. Some for personal safety, like seat belts, some for safety of others like not having your pilot drunk or quarantining someone with TB. Some for puritanical reasons. Shouldn’t a nudist be allowed to walk around the mall? After all, it’s their right not to have to wear clothes, and how are they hurting anyone?
    In this case, the other issue is this is forging a government document. You try doing that in the US and see how long you go to prison.

  20. I’m interested to know if they would apply the same ridiculous penalty to a tourist or one of the wealthy expats if they did the same thing.

  21. “During sentencing, the judge decided a six month jail sentence was appropriate because the traveler showed a lack of remorse”…………when this is mentioned by a judge we should all understand he/she is unqualified to sit in judgement. The only time a person accused of crime shows remorse is when they understand they got caught. They never show remorse when they get away with the crime.

    @Everyone: no point in arguing your points with the “deniers and freedom Covidiots”, you can’t fix stupid. Their arguments are straw and they will never recognize that when the whole benefits, we are all in a better place. This is a personality disorder they have. We aren’t qualified to even try to fix their disorder.

  22. Saying that travel isnt a cause of covid infections is so clearly false it boggles the mind that some people still think that.

    How did the original virus spread? Travel.
    How did the new variants spread? Travel

    It’s quite simple and easy to prove to all but the closed minded ‘me first’ covidiots.

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