Two detained in Romania for selling false negative Covid tests

coronavirus aeroportul otopeni
Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea

Two men have been detained after they were caught selling counterfeit negative Covid-19 tests to Romanians who needed them for foreign travel.

The Maramures County Police Inspectorate said police had managed to break up a forgery ring suspected of printing the fake test results.

Police said that following investigations “at the end of January they found that people had obtained the false negative tests for travel to European Union countries for the sum of 200 lei, about 40 euros.

In the latest example of opportunistic coronavirus-related crime, a market has emerged for the forged tests as some countries require travelers from Romania to show a negative PCR test as a condition of entry

Romanian police has warned Europol about the operations.

Police who were assisted by border police found the false certificate on people who were leaving Romania by car.

„Two suspects were later detained and a criminal investigation has been initiated against them. One of them is under judicial control,” police said, meaning he can’t leave the country or move around freely without informing police.

Police are continuing with the nvestigations to determine if others were involved.

Europol said this month that scammers are producing and selling fake negative coronavirus test certificates in airports, stations and online around Europe .

The alert from the EU’s law enforcement agency came after a number of suspects were arrested in Britain and France after they allegedly sold the false tests online and through phone messages in Spain and the Netherlands.

Europol said criminals were taking advantage of travel restrictions in Europe.

“As long as travel restrictions remain in place due to the pandemic, it is very likely that criminals will seize the opportunity of producing and selling fake Covid-19 test certificates, warns a Europol Early Warning Notification published on February 1.

It said that “given the widespread technological means available, in the form of high-quality printers and different software, fraudsters are able to produce high-quality counterfeit, forged or fake documents.”


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