Tens of thousands of falsified Covid QR codes sold in Schiphol test center scam
This story was updated following the initial court hearing.
The police arrested two women and a man who are suspected of involvement in a scheme to generate false coronavirus access pass QR codes from a GGD location in the Kennemerland region. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) confirmed reporting from RTL Nieuws about this on Friday.
RTL Nieuws reported that tens of thousands of the fraudulent QR codes were put into circulation as a result of the scheme at the GGD XL test center near Schiphol Airport, but the OM would not say anything about the scope of the case on Friday afternoon. That information will be determined during the investigation, a spokesperson said.
The OM alleged that one of the women shared her computer system password. It was still under investigation if she received payment for this, the spokesperson said. All three suspects are charged with computer intrusion, marring an automated network, and forgery.
The three suspects were arrested on Sunday. The women are 24 and 48 years old, while the man is 22. The OM did not disclose the cities where they reside. The Public Prosecution Service would not say whether they were hired through an employment agency, as reported by RTL Nieuws.
The three appeared before an examining magistrate on Friday, who released the 24-year-old woman, but remanded the other two into custody.
The Ministry of Health said it was involved in the investigation. The police and the OM started the investigation after a report was filed by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. The department employs people who scour portions of the internet and Telegram groups where QR codes are bought and sold.
Some of the fraudulent codes will be blocked on Friday evening, a spokesperson said. She emphasized that purchasing QR codes is also punishable, as is selling them.
"You're taking a risk with your own health and the health of others," she added.
Earlier this week, a 19-year-old man from Nootdorp and a 20-year-old woman from The Hague were arrested on suspicion of fraud with QR codes. The duo were allegedly involved in the sale of false Covid-19 vaccination certificates and coronavirus test results. On September 20, the police arrested a 20-year-old man from Alphen aan den Rijn because he allegedly created false vaccination registrations.
Reporting by ANP.