Tuesday, 28 September 2021
Three people who tried to travel with a forged PCR test earlier this year are facing six-month jail sentences from a criminal court in Brussels after rejecting an amicable settlement, according to Bruzz.
The three were caught at the Brussels Airport in Zaventem with false documents, Bruzz reports, and the public prosecutor is now demanding six months in prison and a fine of €1,600.
“The government’s prevention policy stands or falls with the authenticity of these documents,” the prosecutor said. “That is why we apply zero tolerance to such offences.”
One of the suspects facing jail time attempted to board a plane bound for Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo back in March, and showed a PCR test result on her smartphone at the check-in counter.
The name and date on the document had clearly been changed, and after this was noticed the woman was arrested by the police.
After her arrest, she explained that she had to leave for Congo in a hurry for a funeral and had therefore altered the PCR test of an acquaintance.
The second defendant tried to check in at Brussels Airport in March as well, with a PCR test that he said he had taken the same day through his general practitioner. But the document number was not known to the laboratory, nor was the man’s national registration number.
The third suspect attempted to travel in January this year and presented a test that was dated 2020 instead of 2021. Almost the entirety of the text was illegible except for his name and the wrong date.
The three defendants had each received a proposal for an amicable settlement, but because they did not accept it, they were summoned by the public prosecutor to appear in court.
People looking to travel during the coronavirus pandemic have been required to present a negative PCR test in order to enter another country.
If people attempt to board planes using forged PCR test documents or results, they risk jail time and heavy fines.
The three people who were caught doing this in Belgium are now looking at six months in prison and a fine that is higher than the out-of-court settlement they were initially offered.