23 arrested over Forged COVID-19 Test Certificates

Aviation Police officers have today arrested 23 travelers who turned up at Entebbe International Airport with forged PCR COVID-19 test certificates.

The suspects include 13 men and 10 women who have been detained at Aviation Police station at Entebbe International Airport.

Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan spokesperson says the suspects will be charged with forgery and uttering forged documents.

Airlines are expected to operate seven departing flights today at Entebbe International Airport to destinations such as Nairobi, Dubai, Brussels and Kigali.

Onyango says security teams are investigating the suspects for more information.

All travelers going through the airport are required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate issued within 120 hours before their departure time while incoming passengers must have a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate issued within 72 hours before their flight.

The new guidelines came into effect October 1st, 2020 when the government reopened Entebbe International Airport for commercial flights after the six-month lockdown.

Ever since the resumption, an average of 14 flights take place at the airport daily with at least 50 passengers on board.

However, information obtained from the airport shows that more than 50 departing passengers have missed their flights because of failure to present valid PCR COVID-19 test certificates.

According to Dr. James Eyul, the Director Kazuri Medical Services based at the Airport and supporting ministry of health teams at the airport, some of the passengers missed their flights because their certificates had expired.

Eyul, who is an Aviation and Public Health Specialist explains further that one to three passengers have however been turning up at the airport with forged COVID-19 test certificates.

He explains that health officers have been deployed at the departures and arrivals sections to authenticate the COVID-19 test certificates.