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.”
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?