03 July 2021 08:51
A parallel market on the web of counterfeit anti-covid vaccines and green passes has been vanquished by the financial police, just as European vaccination certification comes into force. The financiers of the privacy protection and technological fraud nucleus, coordinated by the deputy prosecutor Eugenio Fusco with the deputy prosecutors Bianca Maria Baj Macario and Maura Ripamonti, monitored ten Telegram channels live, using innovative investigative methods, discovering that they were referring users to anonymous accounts on e-commerce platforms located on the so-called “dark web”.
The ten channels, frequented by thousands of users, were seized. By paying with cryptocurrencies, it was possible in particular to purchase counterfeit green passes, with false identification data of the vaccinee, the specially generated Qr-Code and a batch number of the first and second dose of vaccine. The investigation began with the discovery of two Telegram channels in which the vaccine was marketed, but also masks and gloves to protect against infection. The price list? Vaccine plus green pass, “all inclusive”, cost from 110 to 130 dollars depending on the chosen vaccine: a little more Moderna, a middle ground Pfizer, a little less AstraZeneca. Also available doses of Johnson & Johnson and Sputnik. And the certification could also be sent to those residing outside the European Union.
First reports in April
The first reports date back to April, when the vaccination campaign had recently started and, especially in some countries, still “on the high seas”. As is well known, anti-covid vaccines are not present on the market aimed directly at end users but are sold only to states and supranational bodies. It is however possible that there was the possibility of (illicit) procurement directly from laboratories or distribution centers.
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