Lab in Kerala issues fake COVID-19 certificate to NRIs
A private laboratory in Kerala has been found to have swindled Rs 50 lakh by issuing fake COVID-19 certificates without carrying out a test. Out of the 2,500 samples collected by Arma lab in Valancherry, only 500 samples were sent for testing.
As per the agreement between the labs, the Valanchery-based Arma lab has been designated as an agency to collect samples, who will send them to Micro Lab for testing and issuance of certificates. Accordingly, Arma lab had collected as much as 2500 samples in the past few months. But they did not send all the samples to Micro Lab for testing. Instead they had sent only about 500 samples for testing and issued fake COVI-19 negative certificates in about 2000 cases. They made fake letter heads of Micro Lab and issued the certificates. The lab charged up to Rs 2,750 for each test and attained between Rs 40 to 45 lakh.
Many NRIs who landed in Gulf countries with Covid-19 negative certificates of Micro Lab were tested positive there. This made the Saudi Arabian and UAE authorities ban Micro Lab and three other labs in India. Earlier, Kuwait also reported positive cases among few passengers who arrived Kuwait with Covid negative certificates during the random test conducted at the arriving passengers.
Acting on a complaint filed by a victim, the police made an investigation and found the complaint genuine. Kerala police said the case was registered last week and the Manager of the Arma lab was arrested and remanded to judicial custody.