ENTEBBE – Aviation police have in custody a total of 24 people who were arrested on Sunday as they tried to travel out of the country with fake negative Covid 19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests certificates, a prerequisite for intending travelers in and out of Entebbe International Airport as part of the SOP’s put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The Kampala metropolitan spokesperson Mr Patrick Onyango confirmed the arrest saying police has been receiving reports that there are people who are forging COVID-19 certificates to travel abroad which gives a bad image to Uganda.
“We want to warn the public that if you attempt to get to the airport with a forged COVID19 certificate, you will be immediately detected and you will be arrested. We appeal to Ugandans to get the right certificate through the right channels not back doors. The security teams are currently interrogating them, we want them to lead us to where this forgery took place,” he said.
Onyango said the detainees will be charged with forgery and uttering forged documents as investigations continue.
The manager Kazuri medical clinic at the airport Dr James Eyul while addressing press they started screening passengers PCR tests authenticity immediately international flights were opened on the first of this month.
“We had already been informed that results of all people who carry out Covid 19 tests are uploaded into the ministry of health system which we are able to log into and check authenticity of the results,” he said.
Mr Eyul said the first arrest on Sunday was at 1 am with a man who wanted to board Turkish airlines and presented a negative PCR certificate yet upon checking the system he was found to be positive.
“Most of Today’s arrest (Sunday) never carried out the Covid 19 tests, they simply used computers to forge the certificates and they are going to be charged. We have a high risk where a positive person could be loaded on the aircraft and infects peoplewhich is the worst case scenario,” he said.
The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCCA) spokesperson Mr Vianney Luggya said the travelers arrested who consisted of 11 women and 13 men are not the first to be arrested with forged PCR tests.
“We have previously got others which is a sign that there is a mechanism in place to detect forgeries in this regard, that is why we keep on sensitizing the public, especially travelers, urging them to ensure that they undertake Covid 19 tests from authorized testing centres,” he said.