Photo: Mark Hermance – Media House
/ Zaventem –
In the week of April 19-25, 58 people were arrested at Brussels Airport for wanting to travel abroad with a fake test negative for Covid. This was reported by the Office of Attorney General Haley Felford. Most of these people had a permanent address in Belgium and all these people were offered a friendly settlement of € 750. Those who do not pay will be summoned to a criminal court, facing a five-year prison sentence and a fine of up to 2,000 euros.
Traveling abroad has been possible again since April 19, but upon return, the traveler must complete a Traveler Location Form (PLF). To combat the violations, the College of Prosecutors has issued guidelines on prosecuting individuals for forging PLF certificates or certifications on Covid exams. Specifically, it states that people who create or use such fake documents will be summoned immediately to the criminal court. Prosecutors can first choose to propose an amicable settlement of € 750. The latter is what the Halle-Villeford prosecutor has decided to do for people flying through Brussels airport.
“If airport employees suspect that someone with a false certificate of a negative Covid test wants to travel abroad, they will contact the airport police,” said lawyer In Van Wimmersch. “They can quickly check whether the certificate presented is fraudulent or not. If this is the case, documents will be confiscated, an official report prepared and the person concerned will not be able to travel. He will then be given the option to pay an amicable settlement of 750 euros. Anyone who does not pay will be summoned to court.” Felonies. “
Between Monday, April 19 and Sunday, April 25, 58 people have already been arrested at the airport. “This is about a stubborn minority,” continues the lawyer. “But those few people are endangering the safe travel of anyone who is fine and can deliver a truly negative Covid test.”