Over the past six months, many countries have mandated that travelers show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result in order to clear respective border controls. However, some passengers have turned to faking test results for various reasons including lack of financing, inability to get the required test type, or maybe not being able to get back test results in time for their flights.
On the other hand, some travelers may choose to fake their results, knowing fully well that they may have either been infected or were recently exposed to someone else carrying with the virus.
The Nassau Guardian reports that 21-year-old Jasmine Pyfrom pleaded guilty for being in of possession of a forged document and uttering a forged document. Pyfrom, a Bahamian woman from Matthew Town, Inagua, attempted to travel from the Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau to Marsh Harbour, Abaco on April 7, but was stopped by security officials after they discovered that her COVID-19 test result from the Doctor’s Hospital in Nassau was forged.
Once police took over the matter, Pyfrom admitted that she did not take the required COVID-19 PCR test, stating that her stepfather sent her the document via email. She was previously tested for work purposes, but the negative result had expired and could not have been used for the flight. Officials from the Doctor’s Hospital also confirmed that the document was faked after they performed their own forensic investigation.
Even though Pyfrom has no prior convictions and was a mother of a 2-year-old child, Senior Magistrate Carolyn Vogt-Evans hearing the situation handed her a six month jail sentence citing that the guilty showed “no remorse” and reiterated the “extreme seriousness” of the situation and possible side effects.
In a separate release from the Royal Bahamas Police Force, they reminded nationals that falsified test results could result in a fine up to $2,000 and/or 2 years in prison.
“In recent weeks it has come to the attention of the Royal Bahamas Police Force that a growing number of Bahamians are seeking to carry out COVID-19 testing through unofficial means.
“In the last week, several people have been brought before the courts and charged. The Royal Bahamas Police Force is warning Bahamians against obtaining fake COVID-19 tests.
“The Commissioner Paul Rolle and his team are advising all citizens, residents and visitors to go through the correct procedures when obtaining such documentation for travel or otherwise. We urge you to take this warning seriously to avoid prosecution and to help keep you, your family and the wider community healthy.”
This is not the first time that an incident like this has made international headlines. In December 2020, an American teen visiting the Cayman Islands was given a two month jail sentence after breaking her 14 day quarantine to see her boyfriend perform in a professional jet-ski racing event.
[Featured Photo: BriYYZ/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)]