Police said they have taken three people into custody on suspicion of submitting fake positive rapid Covid-19 test results to the government’s online platform, in the first such arrests of their kind.
Officers on Tuesday accused one man and two women of breaching the Prevention and Control of Disease (Disclosure of Information) Regulation by knowingly giving false or misleading information to health authorities.
Superintendent Wilson Tam from the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau said the two female suspects, 25 and 37, had used fake positive test results to obtain sick leave from work.
According to the police, the 37-year-old woman was granted one day of sick leave by submitting a photo taken from the media of a positive RAT test result to the government's self-reporting platform on March 14.
It appeared that the woman might have been infected with Covid, and if that was the case, it's not clear why she didn't upload her own test result.
The 25-year-old woman, meanwhile, received 14 sick days by uploading on March 28 a photo of what is believed to be her family member’s positive test result, officers said.
In another case, a 25-year-old man was said to have uploaded a copy of his father’s ID card and a photo of a positive rapid test result sourced from the internet on March 12.
Officers said he did not obtain sick days from work.
The police made the arrests on Tuesday after health officers, who had conducted spot checks, referred the cases to them.
The police said people who obtained sick days off by using false Covid test results could be charged with fraud under the Theft Ordinance, and anyone who's convicted faces a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail. And the maximum penalty for providing false or misleading information to health officers is a HK$10,000 fine and six months’ imprisonment.