Authorities in Kuwait have arrested a laboratory technician who issued forged over 60 COVID-19 PCR tests for $99 per certificate, according to local reports.
Local media reports identified the suspect as an “Asian” laboratory technician who agreed to falsify polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test certificates for $99, taking a commission of nearly $20 per certificate while giving the rest of the amount to his clinic.
Police said the arrest took place at the private laboratory in Farwaniya district of Kuwait.
The defendant, 51, is said to have confessed to the crime and revealed that he had issued about 60 forged certificates to customers and kept their personal data. The man’s confessions were documented by the police and then referred to the Public Prosecutor’s office, according to the Kuwaiti al-Qabas new website.
A security source told al-Qabas that all those who bought the forged certificate from the defendant have been reached, with a majority of them found to be currently outside the country.
“The residents who obtained the forged coronavirus PCR test certificates are destined for deportation, and they will be arrested upon entering the country,” the source was quoted as saying.
Kuwait has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, with the government forced to close all commercial activities from eight in the evening until five in the morning earlier this month as part of measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said on Tuesday that the country was entering an “alarming situation” with the pandemic, during an address at the Kuwait National Assembly during an extraordinary session.
“Today we completed a year and we welcome a new one, and now, after 45 days of the new year, we have begun to enter into an alarming situation, as the number of deaths in the past 15 days has reached 50 cases,” the PM said.
“Occupancy of intensive care beds and hospital admissions has increased largely, as we are heading towards reaching five intensive care units at Mubarak Hospital,” he added.