| Ivory Coast busts gang forging Covid test certificates

Africa medics warn of India-like Covid surge. (Photo by:Emmanuel Osodi/Majority World/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Ivory Coast has arrested around a dozen people, including three nurses, on suspicion of selling fake negative Covid-19 test certificates to air travellers, police sources told AFP on Tuesday.

“These people issued fake certificates for the price of 45 000 (CFA) francs (68 euros, 82 dollars) each to passengers leaving from Abidjan airport,” a source said, requesting anonymity.

“Three nurses and around 10 other people” were detained on suspicion of participating in the scheme, another source said.

The detainees used a computer application enabling them to modify names on genuine Covid-19 certificates issued by the local Pasteur Institute and to copy the signature of its director, Professor Mireille Dosso.

Accomplices at the airport allegedly aided the gang by waving through passengers who had bought the fake certificates without scrutiny, the source said.

Ivory Coast has so far been largely spared the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As of Monday, the west African nation has registered 287 deaths and 46 000 cases, out of a population of 25 million.

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