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Belgium: Fake tests? Real jail.


Brussels prosecutors have begun cracking down hard on travelers presenting fake negative PCR tests at Brussels Airport, with the first convicted batch of 16 getting sentences from six months to a year in jail plus fines for forgery.

In all, in recent months, 820 people were arrested at the airport with false tests; about 80% were not prosecuted after they agreed to pay fines of €750 each. The remaining 160 were referred for trials, which are now underway.

Twelve of the sixteen did not show up in court and were convicted by default. All but one of the twelve were sentenced to six months and €1600 in fines; the remaining defendant was sentenced to a year because he was actively infected when he presented the false test. Of those who showed, one got a suspended six-month sentence and an €800 fine, while the other three were assigned 60 hours of community service.


Belgium is not alone in confronting the fake-pass issue. Earlier this week, Austrian police, in twenty raids across seven states arrested 22 people charged as providers of counterfeit vaccine certificates, and say that more, and their customers, are being sought.

In France, where health passes will soon be available only to the fully-vaccinated, the Health Minister told the National Assembly that 5% of those hospitalized with Covid in recent weeks have turned out to have fake vaccine passes.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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