CBSA has intercepted hundreds of fake COVID-19 tests, vaccine documents
OTTAWA -- The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) says it has intercepted hundreds of suspected falsified or fraudulent COVID-19 test results and proof of vaccination credentials since they were required for travel.
Between Jan. 7 and Oct. 31, the CBSA logged 374 suspected fake test results – 160 at airports, and 187 at land borders – and 92 suspected fake vaccine documents between July 5 and the same date.
“All of these individuals were referred to [the Public Health Agency of Canada] for further assessment and possible enforcement,” a CBSA statement to CTVNews.ca reads.
The agency noted that a further breakdown of figures, including information related to the specific ports of entry or the possible origin of fraudulent documents, is not available.
Presenting false information and documentation to Government of Canada officials, such as border officials, can result in financial penalties up to $75,000 and, or six months in prison.
“Foreign nationals who provide false information may also be denied entry and/or banned from returning to Canada,” the statement reads.
Issuing fines falls under the jurisdiction of PHAC as outlined in the Quarantine Act.
According to a government website, between April 14, 2020 and Nov. 25 2021, 2,097 fines have been issued to travellers who have failed to provide a valid pre-entry test.
The assessment and verification of testing requirements and vaccine credentials is done through the ArriveCAN app, automated technology checks, and by border services officers who perform more in-depth examinations when necessary.
“The CBSA deploys a variety of techniques and is continuously updating intelligence networks, however, the agency does not disclose details of specific targeting, enforcement, intelligence and investigative techniques as it may render them ineffective. What we can tell you is that any document that is suspect is referred for further investigations by PHAC,” the statement reads.
Mandatory pre-arrival testing for air travel began on Jan. 7, and on Feb. 15 for cross-border land travel. Mandatory proof of vaccination credentials began on July 5 for Canadians, Aug. 9 for U.S. citizens and Sept. 7 for other foreign nationals.