Three medics, a nurse and a person suspected of being an intermediary have been detained on suspicion of issuing counterfeit vaccine certificates to people who never actually had a jab.
Anti-corruption prosecutors carried out 25 searches in connection with the case on Wednesday in the northeast counties of Iasi and Neamt, News.ro reported.
Three family doctors and a nurse are suspected of taking bribes from dozens of people in exchange for issuing green passes which are now required in many places.
In some cases, the people didn’t even turn up at the vaccine center or their doctor’s practice.
Another method used in vaccine certificate fraud is the “vaccine in the sink.” It involves a health official pretending to administer a dose which is then throw away.
They paid between 100 and 250 euros in exchange for obtaining a Covid-19 vaccine certificate, prosecutors said.
A statement said that the suspected cases of vaccine fraud occurred in the second half of 2021.
Investigators are probing doctors’ practices in four villages in Iasi and Neamt county. The case also focuses on two drive-in centers in the city of Piatra Neamt. They are no longer open.
Cases of vaccine certificate forgery have been uncovered in Romania and Bulgaria, where there is widespread hesitancy about jabs combined with corruption in the healthcare systems.
Romanians need certificates or green passes _ that show they’ve been vaccinated or have had Covid in the last six months_ to go about many daily activities. Vaccine passes are mandatory to enter public buildings, shopping malls, restaurants and some stores.