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UAE: Up to Dh750,000 fine, jail term for forging Covid-19 PCR test results

In 2020, two employees at a Covid-19 screening centre in the UAE were arrested for forging several test results



Reuters file for illustrative purposes
Reuters file for illustrative purposes
by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Sun 13 Feb 2022, 11:44 AM

Last updated: Sun 13 Feb 2022, 10:54 PM

Forging Covid-19 PCR test results to access public places, events or other areas is a major crime punishable by temporary imprisonment and a fine of up to Dh750,000, a legal expert has warned.

Dr Youssef Al Sharif, advocate and legal counsel, said it is known that the Covid-19 test results for UAE residents are recorded in the Al Hosn app.

However, some residents may be tempted to forge these results because they don’t want to conduct regular tests as per government requirements or to avoid paying for these tests to save money, which is very risky because they will be caught and charged by authorities, he said.

“Some people try to play or circumvent these testing procedures, including falsify the result on their old negative PCR test certificate by changing the old dates and put new ones so they can show them to security officials to access restricted places that require a negative PCR test to enter,” Al Sharif.

The lawyer warned that the act of forging PCR test results or other documents, whether by an individual or people working at testing centres through changing data in the system, is a major crime under the UAE law.

He explained that according to Article (6) of Federal Decree-Law No. (5) of 2012 Concerning Combatting IT Crimes, any person who forges an e-document issued by the federal or local government or federal or local public organisations and authorities, shall be sentenced to temporary imprisonment and face a fine of not less than Dh150,000 and not more than Dh750,000.

Al Sharif further elaborated that the penalty for such crimes shall be not less than Dh100,000 and not more than Dh300,000 if the forgery is made on a document issued by an entity other than those stipulated in paragraph (1) of Article (6), adding that the same penalties apply to those who use forged e-documents, while aware that said document is forged.

As of December 31, 2021, vaccinated individuals wishing to enter Abu Dhabi by road will now have to show an Al Hosn Green Pass. Unvaccinated individuals will need to show a negative PCR test obtained with 96 hours.

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In 2020, two employees at a Covid-19 screening centre in the UAE were arrested for forging several test results.

Investigations confirmed that the duo used their jobs to falsify test results for a fee, said the official spokesperson for the Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Prosecution.

The staff members were found to have been altering images of the negative test results of other people. Then, the people who paid them used these fake results to enter Abu Dhabi. As soon as their scheme was busted, the Dubai Police arrested the employees and referred them to the prosecution.


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