File picture: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP
File picture: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP

Police bust Covid-19 certificates racket at Zimbabwe-Zambia border

Time of article published Dec 8, 2020

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Harare - Zimbabwean police have busted part of a racket involved in the distribution of fake Covid-19 clearance certificates at the border post linking the country to neighbouring Zambia.

Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said law enforcement agents last week arrested two men who were part of a syndicate selling fake Covid-19 certificates at Chirundu Border Post.

The suspects, who are not medical practitioners, were found with 330 blank stamped fake Covid-19 certificates and testing equipment.

“They were arrested on December 3, 2020 for originating fake Covid-19 certificates for travellers at Chirundu Border Post,” Nyathi said in a statement on Monday.

The syndicates are operating at most of Zimbabwe border posts where they are having thriving business from desperate locals wishing to cross into neighbouring countries.

They charge about US$20 (R300) to issue a fake certificate to a traveller wishing to cross into Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa or Zambia.

According to Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 health protocols, a traveller requires a valid health certificate that must have been issued not more than 48 hours prior to the date of travel.

The same certificate is require on the other side of the border where the majority of neighbouring countries demand that inbound travellers should have been cleared of Covid-19 at most 72 hours before they travelled.

Genuine clearance certificates cost up to US$85 (around R1 800).

Agence de Presse Africaine (APA)

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