Forging a PCR test to go through the Brussels Airport may not be the greatest idea. The Criminal Court of Brussels is imposing prison terms of up to 1 year to travellers presenting a fake Covid-19 PCR test.
1. Testifying over a fake PCR
On January 5, the Court sentenced 16 travellers who had presented a false certificate of a negative PCR test at Brussels Airport to up to one year in prison. It started with a group of 160 people which has been the first to be summoned to court for faking PCR tests.
During the hearing, 12 of the defendants were absent. The court imposed a six-month prison term and €1,600 fine on 11 of them for forgery of documents or forgery in computer science. For one defendant, the prison sentence was doubled because not only he faked a certificate but he was also infected with Covid-19.
One of the defendant who showed up maintained her innocence. She was sentenced to a suspended prison verdict of 6 months and an €800 fine. The 3 others who were present were sentenced to 60 hours of community service or a one-year alternative prison penalty.
2. Pay or testify
According to aviation24, in the last months, around 820 people have been caught at Brussels Airport trying to pass through security with a forged PCR proof. About 80% of them have accepted a criminal settlement of €750 and skipped court. The others are pursued in groups by the Halle-Vilvoorde prosecutor’s office, one Belgian province of Flemish Brabant.
The Criminal Court of Brussels ruled in its judgment that there are “few such textbooks of uninhibited selfish behaviour.” Moreover, it accused the defendants of “deliberately endangering society by placing their own freedom to travel above the public interest.“
The Brussels correctional Court stressed that international air travel is “the perfect tool” for a virus to remain spreading on a large scale. “For citizens who are not concerned with the welfare of their fellow citizens, the court’s opinion is that severe punishment is the only appropriate social response to make them aware of the inadmissible nature of their actions.”