Hundreds of people tried to enter Canada with false COVID-19 test results and vaccine proof documents: CBSA – .

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Hundreds of people tried to enter Canada with false COVID-19 test results and vaccine proof documents: CBSA – .


The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said it has intercepted hundreds of suspected false COVID-19 test results and vaccination records from people attempting to enter the country.
As of October 31, border officials had encountered 374 suspected falsified COVID-19 test results at points of entry – 160 at airports and 187 at border crossings – and intercepted 92 suspected false vaccination records, a spokesperson said. of the agency. Radio-Canada.

The agency did not provide a breakdown of cases, specific ports of entry or possible countries of origin of the fraudulent documents.

People cross the Canada-U.S. Border after Canada opened the border to vaccinated Americans in Blaine, Washington on August 9, 2021. (David Ryder/Reuters)

Because they have the right of entry, Canadians who enter with false COVID-19-related records are still allowed to enter the country, but border officials then pass their information to the Public Health Agency. of Canada (PHAC), which has the capacity to investigate and impose fines. Non-Canadians may be refused entry.

A number of cases are under investigation by PHAC, which imposed seven fines for alleged false or fraudulent COVID-19 test results between Jan.6 and Nov.12, the agency said. PHAC said it also imposed two fines for allegedly tampered with or fraudulent evidence of vaccination credentials between July 6 and November 12.

International travelers who wish to enter Canada and are not exempt from vaccine requirements must show proof of vaccination and, unless returning to the country within 72 hours of departure, a negative molecular test result COVID-19.

Lorian Hardcastle, a health policy expert at the University of Calgary, said she was happy the CBSA was picking up false documents at the border, but still had concerns.

“I wonder what percentage this segment represents of the total number of people who arrive without being vaccinated and / or tested,” said Hardcastle.

She said it was important to have a clear idea of ​​the immunization status of people entering the country, as new variants continue to emerge.

Variante Omicron

Canada has imposed travel restrictions on seven southern African countries in light of the omicron variant. As of Monday morning, two cases had been detected in Ottawa and one case was reported in Quebec.

Epidemiologist Cynthia Carr of EPI Research Inc., of Winnipeg, said the CBSA’s numbers are problematic.

“For every person who is not protected, it obviously creates increased risk for themselves,” Carr said. “But not protected and then travel to other countries – you drive that risk back and forth. “

Cynthia Carr is a Winnipeg-based epidemiologist who says the virus can continue to adapt when there are groups of people around the world who are unprotected. (Google Meet)

Faux documents

Shabnam Preet Kaur, a forensic document examiner at Toronto-based Docufraud Canada, said technology can easily allow people to create a forged document.

“You just have to download these software, for example Photoshop, and you can just make any changes you like,” she said.

“Whatever you need to edit in a document, you can do it in less than five minutes. “

Kaur said it was not difficult to manipulate PDF vaccine certificates.

“I would like to suggest [the] The QR code method is really more secure than the PDF of certificates, ”she said.

The fine for making false or misleading statements to a quarantine, control or environmental health officer is $ 825 plus applicable provincial fees and taxes, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. (Erik White/CBC)

CBSA spokeswoman Rebecca Purdy said the agency is working closely with domestic and international partners to detect and intercept fraudulent documents.

In a statement, Purdy said the CBSA was not disclosing details of specific targeting, enforcement and investigation techniques.

She said the agency uses technology to determine the authenticity of documents and extensively trains border service officers who review receipts and physical vaccination records.

Efforts d’application

Hardcastle said the app is vital, especially as variants develop around the world.

“We need to maintain these enforcement efforts and make sure that we eliminate as many fraudulent and falsified records as possible,” she said.

The fine for false or misleading statements to a quarantine, control or environmental health officer is $ 825 plus applicable provincial fees and taxes, PHAC said, as travelers presenting false documents could be fined an additional $ 5,000.

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