KARACHI - Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Crime Cell Sindh Zone claimed to have arrested 11 persons including a lady health worker for their alleged involvement in issuance of fake COVID-19 vaccination certificates.

Addressing a presser here, Additional Director FIA Cyber Crime Sindh Imran Riaz unearthed a 14-member gang comprises of employees of different laboratories, a travel agent as well as a lady health worker of district Malir. “The gang is not only involved in issuing forged vaccination certificates to non-vaccinated people, but also in changing the type of COVID-19 vaccine to pre-made genuine certificates,” he added.

Riaz said that the gang used to change the vaccination type of the people going traveling abroad so that such travelers could avoid isolation or hotel quarantine. “For this illegal work, the accused used to demand Rs25,000 to Rs35,000 from the passengers,” he said.

He said that the gang was also preparing fake PCR reports of different renowned private laboratories, making it convenient for the people going abroad.

The additional director said that 11 member of the gang were arrested on Tuesday night while raids were being carried out in search of the remaining accused. He said that an ID issued by NIMS to a lady health worker Syeda Samita Kazmi was being used for the forgery.

The FIA Cyber Crime Sindh also decided to investigate those who had obtained forged certificates and test reports. The FIA maintained it seemed that around 1,500 forged PCR reports and 500 certificates had been issued by the gang; however, the actual will be determined after the forensic report of mobile phones of the arrested accused persons.

The FIR had been lodged against the accused Komail Hussain Zaidi, Muhammad Anwar Rajput, Ayaz Hussain Siddiqui, Mohammad Zubair Sheikh, Aman Ashfaq, Humair, Syed Faizan Kamal Kazmi, Syeda Samita Kazmi, Saqib Anwar, Salahuddin, Syed Shafqat Abbas Zaidi and Junaid Lodhi.

“The people are requested to make the government of Pakistan’s coronavirus prevention campaign a success and avoid making such forged certificates and reports or else the FIA will take stern action against the act,” a press release issued by FIA Cyber Crime Sindh read.