Exposed: Scammer, 17, who is selling fake documents for £80 a time that help arrivals to the UK dodge Covid tests… by ‘proving’ they have booked the legally-required screening
- Malik Younas Fazal charges £80 for false papers to help UK arrivals dodge tests
- Health experts say the 17-year-old is putting hundreds of lives at risk with scam
- Fazal advised undercover reporter how to use paperwork to pass border checks
- He began offering invoices after using Facebook to sell fake negative PCR tests
Malik Younas Fazal is jeopardising lives and the vaccine rollout by selling fake invoices to help UK arrivals dodge Covid tests
A teenage scammer is jeopardising lives and the vaccine rollout by selling fake invoices to help UK arrivals dodge Covid tests while quarantining.
Malik Younas Fazal, 17, charges £80 for the bogus versions of the paperwork that is compulsory for entry into the UK.
The document falsely shows the passenger has registered for the tests used by the Government to track incoming mutant strains.
Last night, health experts warned the fraud could put hundreds of lives at risk. They said it could undermine the vaccination programme as the jabs may be less effective against some of the variants arriving from overseas.
It comes after police warned of the widespread sale of fake negative test certificates online and even at airports amid concern about how easily they can be forged.
Since mid-February, everyone arriving in the UK has been required to quarantine for ten days.
Arrivals from countries on the ‘red list’ have to go to a Government-approved hotel.
But those arriving from countries off the list can self-isolate at home, taking two postal tests before they can go out again.
Fazal, from Birmingham, offers to help them get around the tests by selling fake invoices for the compulsory ‘travel test package’.
The real package includes the quarantine day two test, which the Government says is used for Covid ‘variant surveillance’, and the day eight test.
Fazal’s invoices are rip-offs from the company CTM, one of many genuine firms offering the tests. He charges £80 to fake the documents for the £210 CTM package.
Fazal told an undercover reporter posing as a customer that he is also using a franchise scheme with another scammer, where he takes 80 per cent of the profit.
He said one client arriving from Germany had successfully used the fake certificate, simply showing a copy on a phone to airport border staff.
Pictured: An example of the type of invoice supplied by Fazal to those entering the UK which ‘proves’ they’ve booked the necessary tests that are legally required to enter the country
‘You just show them, that’s it,’ he said. ‘Visual confirmation, nothing else.’
He added: ‘If you do the actual CTM they’re going to track your phone, they’ll track if you’ve done the tests or not. But without this, they can’t do anything.’
For the invoice, he adds various details from the client to a template from a real CTM invoice, which had been used by a relative.
Those returning to the UK are also required to fill in a passenger locator form, including their booking reference number for the travel test package.
Fazal advised the undercover reporter to have a hard copy of the form showing the number from the fake invoice, which he said would be enough to pass border checks.
He began offering the false invoices after using Facebook to sell fake negative PCR tests, which are also mandatory before entering the UK.
Anyone giving false or deliberately misleading information when filling out their passenger locator form faces a potential £10,000 fine and ten years in jail. Failure to take the tests also carries a penalty of up to £2,000.
Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at University of East Anglia, said: ‘This is extremely worrying.
Any move to undermine control measures could undoubtedly lead to more people dying and potentially a lot more people dying.
If we got a lot of cases resistant to the vaccine, all of a sudden it would certainly reduce the impact of the vaccine on stopping the spread of the infection.
‘That could lead to a further surge of infections that could ultimately lead to hundreds of more deaths.’
Contacted by the Mail, Fazal, who is studying applied science at college and hopes to go to university, said he regretted selling the bogus documents and that his parents, who had been unaware, were ashamed of what he had done.
‘I’m glad that this happened because it stopped me,’ he said. He claimed he had sold only a handful of fake test results and was working as a middleman for someone who had contacted him on social media, but said he did not know this person’s name.
He denied having previously sold a fake invoice to someone coming from Germany.
A Department for Health spokesman said: ‘Attempting to circumvent measures at the border, designed to keep the UK public safe, is reprehensible and illegal.
‘Our strengthened border and enforcement regime was introduced to reduce risks and ensure compliance.’
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