Three passengers arrested when they tried to travel to Galapagos with false Covid-19 tests

Three passengers arrested when they tried to travel to Galapagos with false Covid-19 tests

Three travelers were arrested for presenting false evidence of Covid-19 testing to travel to Galapagos. Photos: Courtesy National Police

Guayaquil Newsroom

Three people were detained at the José Joaquín de Olmedo Airport, in Guayaquil, when they tried to travel to the Galapagos Islands with altered Covid-19 tests, on the morning of this Friday, January 8, 2021.

Agents of the Judicial Police began to carry out controls at the terminal this Friday, following reports that foreign tourists and residents of the archipelago were presenting false PCR results.

The chief of the Zone 8 Judicial Police, Colonel Walter Villarroel, reported that the controls will be carried out permanently inside the airport to “detect and detain those who are involved in the crime of use and falsification of documents.”

The actions to be carried out by the agents of the Judicial Police at the airport have been coordinated with all state agencies responsible for the control and supervision of those departing, Villarroel said, according to a police statement.

The official pointed out that in addition to personnel verifying the authenticity or legality of the Covid-19 tests, presented by travelers, will also carry out investigation tasks to review documents delivered in recent months, to identify those who would be preparing the documents fraudulent to enter Galapagos.

The official asked for the understanding and patience of the citizens that he will travel to Galapagos, since the controls of the documents are necessary to prevent infections on the islands. In October, the first 17 false tests of travelers to Galapagos were detected.

To travel to the islands, a negative PCR test has always been mandatory, [and current guidelines require a valid test] 10 days before embarking. At the end of December 2020, the National Emergency Operations Committee (COE) ordered that passengers should leave the document at the airports to verify its veracity.

Since August, 250 fraudulent tests have been detected, with adulterations of the logos of the laboratories, change of positive result for negative and changes in the dates. Article 328 of the Comprehensive Organic Penal Code (COIP) penalizes forgery and the use of false documents with a custodial sentence of three to seven years.

This content has been originally published by Diario EL COMERCIO at the following address: https: //

Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021


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