Bulgarian arrested in Bansko for issuing unauthorised Covid test certificates

Police in Bansko have taken into custody a 40-year-old man who was conducting Covid-19 tests and issuing certificates without the permission of the Blagoevgrad regional health inspectorate, Bulgarian National Television reported on February 5.

The arrest followed a report about the operation by tourists in the mountain resort.

Bulgarian National Television said that the office in Bansko had the same name as one in Pamporovo where there were arrests over fake certificates a month ago.

According to a separate report by Bulgarian National Radio, the operation was headquartered in Sofia and its activities in several other cities are being investigated.

BNR said that regional health inspectorate officials had visited the Bansko site, labelled as a site for PCR and rapid antigen tests, several times, but found no one.

The inspectors then decided to pose as tourists in Bansko and ordered by phone the service for taking a rapid antigen test in one of the hotels.

Half an hour later, the 40-year-old arrived and took samples and the sum of 60 leva.

When he returned with the results, stamped with the laboratory’s name, he was arrested.

The inspectors established that the mobile laboratory’s database did not meet the requirements for conducting such tests, and no positive cases of tests performed by the person had been registered in the national information system.

Also found were PCR tests that were past their expiry date.

The man, who is from Varna but has lived in Bansko for several years, is in 72-hour custody and the case has been referred to prosecutors. Investigations are continuing, BNR said.

(Archive photo: Interior Ministry press centre)

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