As reported by VICE, as a result of the Italian authorities tightening restrictions in the country, a whole string of Telegram accounts have appeared online. Their only objective is to try and sell fake Covid certificates to anti-vaxxers in Italy.
They have reported uncovering at least ten such accounts that claim to have the green passes for sale. With Italy under strict restrictions, more and more citizens are apparently becoming resentful of the government and its rules, and are turning to these illegal sites to purchase the fake documentation.
In Italy right now, Covid passes are mandatory for workers to enter their place of employment, as well as for access to shops and cinemas.
The report by VICE shows that two of the online accounts that they found, already have more than 400,000 subscribers, while many more have at least 5,000 to 10,000 members. Police units have tried to clamp down on these accounts since last summer, but it would seem that the harder they try, the more accounts that appear online.
Since early January, when the Italian government brought the new restrictions in, several of the accounts are known to have increased their activity. Now that it has become mandatory for all the over 50s to get jabbed, there has been an increase in new accounts it is reported.
VICE conducted an investigation and reportedly discovered an Italian nurse who had been arrested on suspicion of administering fake Covid-19 vaccines. She had allegedly given them to at least 45 people. Along with four accomplices, she is accused of selling fake Covid certificates for up to €300 (£250) each, to anti-vaxxers.
As one online account apparently boasted, “Another 200 green passes sold in just one week, thank you!”. Another one said, “They took down our account at 130,000 subscribers – but I always return! You already know that!”, as reported by geo.tv.