Man gets 2-year jail for fabricating nucleic acid test reports

Zhu Yuting Zhang Chaoyan
In a first case in Shanghai in which the forged seals were used to produce fake novel coronavirus nucleic acid test reports, a man has been sentenced to two years in prison.
Zhu Yuting Zhang Chaoyan

A man was sentenced to two years in prison for making fake common seals or electronic seals of several medical institutions to produce false novel coronavirus nucleic acid test reports and selling them for around 10,000 yuan (US$1,537), the Shanghai Jing'an People's Court said on Wednesday.

This is the first case in Shanghai in which forged seals were used to produce fake nucleic acid test reports and the defendant received criminal punishment, according to the court.

A fine of 10,000 yuan was also imposed by the court on Wednesday. He was also ordered to return and compensate his illegal gains, and the forged seals of companies and institutions seized were confiscated.

According to the court, no positive COVID-19 cases have been found among those who bought the false test reports so far.

The Shanghai Jing'an People's Procuratorate initiated a public prosecution on July 8 against the 34-year-old man surnamed Xu for making fake seals of companies and public institutions. The forged seals were used to produce false nucleic acid test reports, physical examination reports, sick notes and other test results.

The reports or certificates were sold to people through the Internet at prices ranging from 40 to 200 yuan per copy, Xu confessed.

Xu also claimed that the price of false reports depended on whether they were printed or electronic. The printed ones were more expensive and harder to make, so the prices were generally higher than those of electronic ones.

Since April 2020, after the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in China, Xu posted advertisements on online platforms to sell fake medical reports.

After receiving the order, Xu used material templates and fake electronic seals to fabricate physical examination reports and certificates, and sold them to "customers" through WeChat, from which he made illegal profits.

Last November, Xu extended his illegal business to faking nucleic acid test reports.

After an investigation, Xu was found to have made a total of six fake nucleic acid test reports and sold them at a similar price as the earlier ones.

On February 8 this year, Xu was arrested by police and confessed to his crime.

Prosecutors pointed out that the defendant's criminal behavior would have resulted in the failure of the city's prevention and control measures against the pandemic and have a significant negative impact on public health security.

In addition, they reminded citizens that people who bought fake nucleic acid test reports were also violating the law as it might destroy the achievements of pandemic prevention, and such people could also be subject to legal sanctions.

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