TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A New Taipei man was arrested on Sunday (April 24) for allegedly selling fake COVID vaccination certificates online.
That day, advertisements on online shopping platforms such as Shopee appeared, offering to sell Taiwan's "little yellow card" for NT$500 (US$17) and vaccination stickers for health insurance card for NT$40. The seller's card contained records of three completed vaccinations, while the name and ID number were left blank for buyers to later fill in.
After being alerted by suspicious consumers, the New Taipei City Criminal Investigation Corps launched an investigation. They soon located the suspect because his personal vaccine record was visible on the card.
Cheng's ad for vaccine card and stickers. (PTT image)
After checking vaccine records at the clinics he had visited, police identified the suspect as a 27-year-old man surnamed Cheng (鄭) who resides in New Taipei City's Banqiao District, reported CNA. Officers pinpointed Cheng's residence and arrested him at around 8 p.m. that evening.
Cheng, who is currently unemployed, said that when he became aware proof of three COVID vaccinations was necessary to enter various venues in Taiwan, he decided to try to make a profit by selling copies of his vaccine certificate. He then confessed to putting the vaccine card up for sale on online platforms.
Cheng (left) being escorted by police. (CNA photo)
Police apprehended Cheng before he was able to complete any transactions. After questioning, Cheng was transferred to the District Prosecutor's Office to be investigated for forging instruments or seals (偽造文書印文罪) and fraud (詐欺罪).
Police urged the public not to buy or use fake vaccine certificates because this could not only cause a breach in epidemic prevention but also result in a fine of up to NT$15,000 for violating Article 70 of the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法).