Police offer amnesty to Cantabrians with fake vaccine passes

Source: 1News

Canterbury police are asking people who have fake Covid-19 vaccine passes to hand them in, as it works through a list of people who might have received one.

A vaccine pass is displayed on a phone for entry into a cafe.

Police said they would offer those people amnesty until 4pm on February 1.

It followed a Stuff sting of a Rangiora business allegedly producing the fake passes. Stuff reported the QR code on the documents didn’t scan correctly.

Earlier today, police arrested a 61-year-old man over the incident. He was charged with forgery and will appear in court on February 1.

Detective Sergeant Daniel Isherwood said a number of people in the wider Christchurch area had been identified as having received a fraudulent pass.

“Police will be working through this list and those who are currently in possession of such a document are strongly encouraged to surrender it to the Rangiora Police Station,” Isherwood said.

He said police had seized several devices and that inquiries are ongoing.

“Police are advising businesses where passes are required to be vigilant when scanning and checking QR codes – if a pass fails to scan and the business is not satisfied with the identity of the individual, entry should be refused.

“This is a timely reminder to ensure that all passes, either electronic or physical, are correctly scanned and checked.”

The Government had not made the use of the vaccine pass verifier tool compulsory for businesses, citing the need to be practical.

In November, as the vaccine passes were being rolled out, an expert told 1News the Government's decision left the system vulnerable to fraud.