Italian Police apprehend Fake COVID Pass Network

Italian police have taken down several groups on the mobile messaging app Telegram after discovering that users selling COVID-19 health passes needed to access services and leisure activities.

On Friday, Italy implemented the so-called green pass, which indicates whether a person has gotten at least one vaccine dose, recovered from coronavirus in the last six months, or tested negative in the preceding 48 hours.

Police said that in an ongoing investigation, they had identified four suspects, including two minors.

“Thousands of users were registered on well-known communication platforms where fake green passes were offered for sale, with an absolute guarantee of anonymity, to be paid in cryptocurrency or vouchers for online shopping platforms, at a price between 150 and 500 euro ($175 to $590),” Italy’s police said.

Police added they seized 32 groups within Telegram in the investigation.

Since the outbreak began in February of last year, Italy has recorded 128,220 COVID-19 deaths, the second-highest toll in Europe. To date, it has registered 4.4 million cases of the virus.

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