RFI:- French police are stepping up arrests over the use fraudulent health passes, Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin said – adding that 400 investigations that have been opened since the passes were first introduced over the summer.
Speaking on France 2 during the week, Darmanin said more than 110,000 fake health passes were in circulation, with some 100 people – both users and those involved in trafficking networks – arrested so far.
“The problem with fake health passes is that it is often in complicity with real doctors or nurses,” explained the minister, adding it was difficult to prove a pass had been faked.
Some prison sentences have already been handed down, “particularly for pass users”, said Darmanin, who stressed that penalties for using or manufacturing false passes included up to five years in prison.
At the end of November, a doctor in Val-de-Marne suspected of selling at least 220 fake health passes was indicted and placed in pre-trial detention.
Darmanin also said he was in favour of dropping charges against people with a fake pass who wanted to get it right.
According to the French health latest figures, nearly 3,000 patients are in intensive care, a figure that is expected to rise to 4,000 by the end of the year.