Canadian officials have charged two American travelers and fined them 20,000 Canadian dollars each – around $16,000 USD – for providing fake COVID-19 vaccination documents.
The unnamed travelers arrived from the US in Canada the week of July 18. Officials from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) fined each traveler four times for a total of 19,720 CAD per traveler.
The fake documents consisted of proof of vaccinations and pre-departure tests; officials also cited the pair for “non-compliance” with government requirements for accommodation and on-arrival testing, according to a PHAC press release.
Canada instituted travel requirements in January that any incoming traveler must provide a negative COVID test before boarding a plane. Further, all travelers arriving by air need to stay at a government-approved hotel for three nights, or until they receive a negative COVID test.
The hotel stay can cost more than 1500 CAD, though.
The agency also stressed that all travelers are obligated to answer questions truthfully and providing false information is a serious offense.
“Violating any quarantine or isolation instructions provided to travelers by a screening officer or quarantine officer when entering Canada is also an offense under the Quarantine Act and could lead to a $5,000 fine for each day of non-compliance or for each offense committed, or more serious penalties, including six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines,” the PHAC noted.
The Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) said it is working closely with “domestic and international partners” to discover falsified documents.