Czech court sentences four in Covid vaccine forgery case

Four women in Vsetín have received fines and suspended sentences for their roles in a scandal involving dozens of forged Covid certificates. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 12.08.2023 09:47:00 (updated on 12.08.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Four women in the Czech Republic's Zlín region have been fined and sentenced by the Vsetín District Court for their roles in a widespread case involving Covid vaccination certificate forgery. Czech Radio first reported the news yesterday, and a court spokesperson confirmed the verdict to Czech News Agency.

The primary suspect in the case received a 10-month suspended sentence with a three-year probation period, along with a fine of CZK 24,650. Three accomplices were fined amounts ranging from CZK 20,000 to CZK 122,500.

The women were found to have earned nearly CZK 500,000 in exchange for providing forged Covid documents. Two of them had been employed at the vaccination center in Vsetín. The court's verdict highlighted the severity of their actions, with the primary suspect in the case facing the heaviest punishment.

In addition to the fines and suspended sentence, the court ruled that the women must forfeit property valued at over CZK 467,000. They also need to surrender cosmetics and food supplements obtained through their criminal endeavors, valued at more than CZK 23,000.

One of the convicted individuals has been ordered to pay almost CZK 50,000 in damages to the Czech Ministry of Finance.

"All decisions are final," court spokesman Pavel Kotrady told Czech News Agency.

The defendants had been engaging in the forgery of vaccination documents since at least September 2021, leading to a total of 74 individuals in the area acquiring fake Covid certificates. These individuals are also currently under investigation by regional police on suspicion of bribery.

The court proceedings revealed that two of the women facilitated the influx of clients seeking counterfeit certificates, charging between CZK 2,000 and CZK 7,000 per falsified dose of vaccine.

The other two perpetrators, who were employed at the vaccination center, falsely registered individuals in the system as vaccinated, even though they had not received the actual jab.

Prosecution against the women had been ongoing since December of last year. Two of the defendants faced a maximum sentence of up to five years behind bars, while the other two faced possible sentences of three and four in prison.

One of the suspects plead guilty and was sentenced in early August. The other three were sentenced on the basis of a criminal order, without a trial taking place.

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