GGD employees suspended over fraud with vaccine certificates
Update 9:15 a.m. - Article updated to add details of arrested suspect
Multiple GGD employees were suspended on suspicion of committing fraud with Covid-19 vaccine certificates. They gave people proof that they had been vaccinated without them actually getting any shots so that they could get a coronavirus access pass, umbrella organization GGD GHOR Nederland said on Monday.
A 20-year-old man from Alphen aan den Rijn was arrested in connection with this fraud. The police believe more arrests may follow, according to NOS.
The organization did not say how many employees are involved, or at which GGD regions they work. The fraud was discovered and suspects suspended a few weeks ago.
"We do not tolerate that employees abuse their work at the GGD or in the national call center to commit fraud," a spokesperson said to NU.nl. "The employees were immediately suspended and a report was filed with the police."
"Unfortunately, despite all safeguards, we cannot completely rule out the possibility of employees abusing the system they had access to because of their work," GGD GHOR Nederland said in a statement. "If a violation is discovered, it can lead to charges and immediate dismissal."
With the fake Covid-19 vaccination certificate, people could get a coronavirus access pass - which often takes the form of a QR code on the CoronaCheck app - to use for access to events, restaurants, cultural institutions and the like. Coronavirus access passes are only issued to people who were fully vaccinated against Covid-19, tested negative for the virus, or recently recovered from it and therefore have immunity. The intention behind the access pass is to prevent the spread of the virus in places where many people gather.