A 28-year-old male City of Johannesburg health worker stationed at the Parkhurst Clinic in Sandton has been arrested for allegedly selling fake COVID-19 negative test certificates to travelers for R500.
- Preliminary investigations have revealed that the suspect is not working alone.
- More suspects are expected to be arrested as the investigation is ongoing.
- The City has proclaimed a ‘zero tolerance for fraud and corruption’.
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The suspect will appear in the Booysens Magistrates Court this week where he will be charged for fraud. He was closely monitored for over a week and was arrested during a sting operation which was led by the City Executive Mayor, Councillor Jolidee Matongo working with the City’s Group Forensic and Investigation Service (GFIS) department and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD).
It is alleged that the suspect sold the fake COVID-19 negative test certificates to people wishing to travel to other countries without conducting the actual test and taking blood samples. All travelers needed to do was send him their identity number, and after a day or two, they would receive a message from the laboratory indicating that the test for COVID-19 was negative. He would then issue the certificate which cost R500.
It’s quite unfortunate, we don’t need such people in our system. We would like to encourage our staff not to engage in such corrupt activities because it compromises the whole country. Imagine someone who has contracted Covid and they are given a certificate that says they are negative. That person will infect many people and some may succumb to the virus. We hope that law enforcement agencies will send the suspect to prison for a long time, we need to set an example and send a strong message to people who are doing this. If the laws of this country have to be changed to deal with such let us do that.
// City Executive Mayor, Councillor Jolidee Matongo
The City would like to encourage people to report any fraud and corruption activities through our 24-hour tip-off hotline 0800-002-587 or visit the offices of GFIS situated at 48 Ameshoff Street, Braamfontein.
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