KEY POINTS

  • The man allegedly discarded vaccines into a container for used needles
  • Four suspected mediators in the case were being held on house arrest
  • Those who got fake certificates were forbidden from leaving their municipalities

A nurse in Italy was arrested on charges of faking COVID-19 vaccinations for at least 50 people, so they could fraudulently obtain a health pass.

The man in Ancona allegedly accepted money in exchange for pretending to inject people with the vaccine. The police said the man, who has not been identified, was caught on camera apparently discarding vaccines into a container for used needles and even putting bandages on his “patients” to avoid suspicion. He later took money from them to provide them with a vaccination pass, Sky News reported.

The man was being investigated by the town's tribunal for corruption, fake certificates and wasting public goods.

Four people suspected of being the mediators in the case were being held under house arrest, according to the National News. The four have been accused of finding anti-vaxxers, who were willing to pay for a health pass rather than get the shots. Meanwhile, those who obtained the fake certificates have been forbidden from leaving their municipalities, under tribunal order.

According to local police, the people working at the vaccination centre earned at least $20,000 through the scam.

The unvaccinated people seeking the fake certificate travelled to Ancona from various Italian regions.

The crackdown comes after Italy announced a host of new coronavirus restrictions, which states the unvaccinated people would be banned from public transport, coffee shops, hotels, gyms and other everyday activities. The measure was imposed with COVID-19 infections surging over 100,000 per day in Italy.

Italy has registered 138,474 deaths linked to the virus since its outbreak emerged in February 2020, and has reported 6.975 million cases to date.

In another incident in Malaysia, a doctor was arrested this week for allegedly selling fake vaccination certificates to anti-vaxxers. An investigation by the Terengganu Commercial Crime Investigation Department led to the raid of the private clinic. Authorities said they discovered the clinic was selling fake vaccination certificates, which were then getting updated on MySejahtera – a mobile application developed by the Government of Malaysia to facilitate contact tracing efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The anti-vaxxers allegedly paid nearly $600 to have their MySejahtera updated.

A nurse prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children for distribution in Montreal, Quebec on November 24, 2021
A nurse prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children for distribution in Montreal, Quebec on November 24, 2021 AFP / Andrej Ivanov
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