Three women have been arrested in connection with the trade in fraudulent QR codes for coronavirus passes following a tip-off, Amsterdam police have said.
Two women, aged 30 and 31, were arrested at a family doctor’s practice in the city earlier this week and a third woman aged 51, who also worked there, was arrested on Thursday.
The women are said to have accepted payments of between €500 and €1,000 to register people as having been vaccinated, even though they had not had a jab.
‘The QR codes the people could generate were genuine, but they had not been vaccinated,’ a police spokesman said.
The three are thought to have helped several dozen people to a QR code they were not entitled to and police have not ruled out further arrests.
Meanwhile, NOS reports that coronavirus passes are still being widely shared via apps such as Telegram and at least 23 codes have been blocked.
Many of the shared codes come from outside the EU, which cannot be blocked via the Dutch system, a health ministry spokesman told the broadcaster.
From Saturday, QR codes will have to be used in museums and on café terraces, as part of government efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Last month, the Dutch health ministry launched an investigation into how cyber criminals managed to create a valid CoronaCheck app code in the name of Adolf Hitler.
RTL Nieuws reported that the fake code returned a green ‘negative’ result when scanned with the ‘test for entry’ app, despite using the deceased dictator’s name and giving his birth date as January 1, 1900.
These are not the first times the ‘test for entry’ system, used to prove people have been vaccinated or tested negative before they enter venues, has been compromised.
Last month a 20-year-old man from Alphen aan den Rijn was arrested and several staff at local health service offices were suspended from duty on suspicion of falsifying vaccination codes.
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