As a range of services will soon be restricted to people with Covid-19 immunity, Lithuanians are lining up to get their vaccine shots – or looking for fake vaccination certificates online.
“I'm interested in a vaccination pass. Does anyone know where to buy one? If so, PM me,” reads a typical message on social media.
The police say they are monitoring online discussions where people are looking to pay for fake records about vaccination. There are enough fraudsters offering to do it.
“We have stepped up our monitoring of social media and contacts with medical institutions,” says Deputy Police Commissioner General Arūnas Paulauskas.
Investigators are following several cases that could lead to prosecution, he adds, without going into details.
The Special Investigation Service (STT), Lithuania's anti-corruption agency, has already opened an investigation into an attempt to bribe a medic.
“Seeking to avoid vaccination, but be included into the vaccination registry, the person offered a bribe to an employee of Klaipėda Vaccination Centre,” according to the STT spokeswoman.
The case was reported by the medics themselves.
The Health Ministry says it regularly receives reports from people about attempts to buy fake vaccination certificates. However, says ministry chancellor Jurgita Grebenkovienė, getting one is not that easy.
“The entire vaccination process is thoroughly documented – from the production of the vaccine, to it's arrival in Lithuania [...] to a vaccination centre and the person,” she says.
“The process can easily be traced, verified and all inconsistencies, if there are any, discovered,” Grebenkovienė adds.
One Lithuanian citizen, aged 25, has been convicted for counterfeiting a vaccination certificate in Denmark. Earlier this month, a court sentenced him to 80 days in prison, he will also be barred from reentering Denmark for six years.
The Lithuanian government has decided that, as of September 13, non-essential shops, services and public events will only be accessible with Covid-19 immunity certificates.