Canadian border officers have identified hundreds of travellers with suspected fake coronavirus test results and over 90 travellers with suspected fake vaccine passports.
As of Oct. 31, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) intercepted 374 instances of suspected falsified or fraudulent COVID-19 test results at a port of entry to the country, CBSA spokesperson Isabelle Vigneault told Vancouver Is Awesome in an emailed statement. Of these travellers,160 attempted to enter Canada by air while 187 attempted to cross the land border.
As of the same date, the CBSA has also intercepted 92 instances of suspected falsified or fraudulent proof of vaccination credentials.
All of the travellers were referred to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) for further assessment and possible enforcement.
As of Dec. 7, PHAC has issued 17 fines for suspected falsified or fraudulent test results or proof of vaccination presented at a point of entry to Canada, explained the agency in an emailed statement to V.I.A. However, several cases are still under investigation.
Law enforcement works with PHAC officers to assess "each situation on a case-by-case basis to determine which compliance or enforcement tool" is appropriate. The PHAC does not determine which enforcement measure is most appropriate. Law enforcement may choose to use a different instrument for enforcement, such as local bylaws or provincial legislation.
Fines for using fraudulent documents or making a false statement
The fine for violation of subsection 66(b) of the Quarantine Act (making a false or misleading statement to a quarantine officer, screening officer or environmental health officer) is $825 plus applicable provincial fees and taxes.
Travellers who present false documents may be subject to an additional $5,000 fine under section 58 of the Quarantine Act (failure to comply with an order prohibiting or subjecting to any condition the entry into Canada) if they fail to meet the requirements for entry into Canada, and will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine if they fail to meet the criteria for exemptions.
If a traveller also used the fake document to board a plane to Canada, Transport Canada may use its authorities to enforce penalties as well. The penalty for forging a document comes with a hefty fine of up to $750,000 or six months imprisonment or both.
Foreign nationals who provide false information may also be denied entry and/or banned from returning to Canada.