Clinics in Paris are offering fake coronavirus passports for as little as £250, allowing people operate under controversial new coronavirus measures without having received a jab, a new investigation has revealed.
The report by the Parisien newspaper came as two Covid-19 vaccination centres were ransacked by protesters over the weekend.
The paper reported that low-paid French health service staff were making more than £4,000 a month by pretending to inject people.
‘Certain vaccination centres, flagships of the fights against Covid-19 are now plagued by corruption,’ the paper said on Monday.
Proof of a double vaccination and negative test result is becoming essential for anyone who wants to travel out of France, including to countries such as the UK.
Under controversial new measures announced last week, vaccine passports are also required to enter bars, cafes and restaurants.
The official passes are meant to prove that a person is fully vaccinated, and can take the form of a printed document, or an entry on France’s Anti-Covid App.
But Le Parisien reports that it found numerous centres in the greater Paris area selling fakes after pretending to jab people.
Clinics in Paris are offering fake coronavirus passports for as little as £250, allowing people operate under controversial new coronavirus measures without having received a jab, a new investigation has revealed. Pictured: A mass protest against the new rules in Paris on Saturday
The report by the Parisien newspaper came as two Covid-19 vaccination centres were ransacked by protesters over the weekend. Pictured: A marquee hosting a vaccination centre in the town of Urrugne that was targeted in an arson overnight on Saturday
The words ‘New Genocide’ were sprayed onto the wall along with other graffiti at a vaccination centre in Lans-en-Vercors, Isere on Friday night
Proof of a double vaccination and negative test result is becoming essential for anyone who wants to travel out of France, including to countries such as the UK. Under controversial new measures announced last week, vaccine passports are also required to enter bars, cafes and restaurants [Stock image]
The paper said it had found numerous centres in the greater Paris area that were pretending to jab people and selling the fake passports.
This is despite the risk of three years in prison and a fine equivalent to £38,000 if found guilty of assisting in the trafficking of forged official documents.
‘Armed with a hidden camera, we were able to benefit from a health passport for 300 euros (£250), without ever having received the slightest injection,’ Parisien investigators report.
They point out that a regular two-jab vaccination schedule should take more than three months, with 12 weeks between injections and then a further fortnight before someone is considered fully vaccinated.
But the investigators managed to overcome such delays by illegally offering cash, while not getting vaccinated at all.
Money was handed over in a curtained-off area of a clinic in the northern Paris suburbs, where the jab was meant to be administered, and placed ‘under the table where the needles and sterile pads are’.
Le Parisien has not named the clinic, or the staff involved, but it has produced a video of the transaction, and wrote that the centre ‘is not the only one to have established an underground economy.’
Urrugne mayor Philippe Aramendi told Le Monde that he was certain the fire at a marquee hosting a vaccination centre in the town was started deliberately
‘Vaccine = genocide’ and ‘Think of your children’ were graffitied on a vaccine centre in Isere. Furniture, syringes and compresses were also ransacked from the facility
A week ago, French President Emmanuel Macron announced during a TV address that coronavirus vaccination passes would be compulsory for bars, cafés and restaurants because of the rapid spread of the Delta Variant across France
The announcement sparked protests across France, with large crowds gathering to demonstrate in 137 locations at the weekend. Pictured: A protest outside the Louvre in Paris on Saturday
A protester wears a t-shirt bearing the image of a crossed-out syringe during a demonstration in Paris on Saturday
Crowds gather on Saturday to protest against the strict new measures, many demonstrators waved French flags and chanted: ‘Freedom’
It states that ‘caregivers’ are also producing fake passports at the Sainte-Anne Centre, in the 14th arrondissement of Paris.
In June, one nurse was fired for ‘falsely vaccinating’ and issuing certificates for up to 10 people a day,’ the paper reports.
Another health centre nurse said he was now involved in trafficking fake passes ‘at a rate of 250 euros (£215) per person’, and that ‘I made about 5,000 euros (£4,300) last month’
A spokesman for France’s General Directorate of Health said the Health Ministry was ‘monitoring the subject (of vaccine fraud) very closely and has already alerted regional health agencies and vaccination centres in order to strengthen their vigilance and identify possible suspicious acts.’
A week ago, French President Emmanuel Macron announced during a TV address that coronavirus vaccination passes would be compulsory for bars, cafes and restaurants because of the rapid spread of the Delta Variant across France.
He also said there would be ‘compulsory vaccinations’ for all health workers, who risk fines if they do not comply.
The announcement sparked protests across France, with large crowds gathering to demonstrate in 137 locations at the weekend.
The weekend also saw attacks on two vaccination centres, one in Isere in southeastern France and one in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques in the country’s southeast corner.
The Isere centre, located in Lans-en-Vercors, was vandalised overnight on Friday, the mayor of the town told Le Monde, saying the municipal building in which the centre was housed is now ‘completely out of order’.
Furniture, syringes and compresses were ransacked from the facility, which was tagged with graffitied phrases including ‘Vaccine = genocide’ and ‘New Genocide’.
Equipment stored in garages under the building was also damaged, mayor Michael Kraemer told the paper, adding that the town was paying the price for the implementation of ‘certain major national policies’.
A protester dressed as the Statue of Liberty waves a flag during a demonstration in Paris on Saturday as another holds a sign emphasising that it should be an individual’s choice whether or not to get vaccinated
Pictures of world leaders bearing Adolf Hitler moustaches are seen in Paris, where protesters described a ‘health dictatorship’
Macron’s measures have angered many people who feel they infringe on individual freedoms. Pictured: Protesters in Paris on Saturday
A protester holds a placard reading: ‘health dictatorship’ and wears a yellow Star of David, marking themselves out as a non-vaccinated person in an apparent reference to the stars Jews were forced to wear in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II
In the Pyrenees-Atlantiques, a marquee hosting a vaccination centre in the town of Urrugne was targeted in an arson overnight on Saturday, according to a prosecutor in the city of Bayonne, which has opened an investigation.
Urrugne mayor Philippe Aramendi told Le Monde that he was certain the fire was started deliberately.
‘I was called at 3 am and it was found that flammable product had been spilled around the marquee. Fortunately, the firefighters quickly contained the flames and the marquee was only partially destroyed, ‘ he said.
Bastille Day also saw large protests, with hundreds of cafe owners, hospital workers and parents, some chanting ‘Liberty! Liberty!’, taking to the streets of Paris to rebel against Macron’s controversial plans to tackle the nation’s surging coronavirus cases.
Large crowds were confronted by riot police, who fired tear gas to try to disperse the advancing group. Protesters and police kicked the tear gas canisters at each other, and cyclists calmly weaved through the crowd.
On Friday, the UK Government announced that travellers arriving to the UK from France will have to quarantine for up to 10 days, even if they have had both Covid jabs.
This was in response to the spread of the Beta Variant in France, even though rises are mainly limited to the overseas island of Reunion, which is 5,000 miles from Paris.
On Saturday, France recorded 12,532 new infections, with 22 deaths registered on Friday.
Hundreds of protesters chanting ‘Liberty!’ marched through Paris to rebel against Macron’s controversial plans on Bastille Day
The demonstrations turned ugly when activists clashed with riot police, who fired tear gas into the crowds. Pictured: A masked demonstrator kicks back a gas canister in central Paris