After an Investigation by Nova: Will There be Penalties for Fake Certificates in Bulgaria
An investigation by Bulgarian Media “Nova” has uncovered a large-scale scheme to issue green certificates to unvaccinated people. One of them costs 450 leva. False documents are received in just two days. According to an intermediary, between 15 and 30 false certificates are issued per day by only one doctor.
The surprise is that the mediator is a candidate for MP. It is he who communicates with Nova’s news team in the certificate trading scheme. A reaction from the prosecutor's office followed. A spokesman for the chief prosecutor said the MP's immunity would be sought to be investigated. And the party, from whose lists he is a candidate, promised to expel him today.
The mediator, who introduced himself as Velichko Georgiev, is a Member of Parliament, explained the director of the National Police, Chief Commissioner Stanimir Stanev. As far as he is informed, the Prosecutor General has requested that his immunity be lifted. The Nova team found out about the scheme from the businessman Andrey Bachvarov.
"My friend is gone. A man with a fake certificate turned out to be positive for Covid, he infected my friend who had diabetes and he passed away," Bachvarov said.
Andrey himself first contacted Velichko, posing as an employer who wanted to obtain certificates for his employees. It is agreed that Andrei will send photos of the ID cards of three of his employees at first. For the purpose of the investigation, Andrei introduced a reporter as his employee. It is clear from the conversations that Velichko works with an older sister, who is in the mobile points in the malls at the weekend, and in the polyclinic during the week.
For a sum of BGN 1,350, obtaining authentic certificates for unvaccinated people in just two days did not prove difficult. It works with the single-dose Jansen vaccine. The money is given to another intermediary who works with other medics - many times more expressively.
In a few days, Nova’s team received three 100 percent certificates, which are downloaded from the National Health Information System of the Ministry of Health. A Bulgarian woman in Ukraine also received a vaccination certificate. Velichko Georgiev even mentions the name of the doctor behind these three certificates. A Nova team called the doctor for a comment over the phone, but she did not answer the calls. The team contacted the Ministry of Interior and the Prosecutor's Office about the investigation.
According to the Deputy Chairman of the Bulgarian Medical Union, Dr. Nikolay Branzalov, these people have been proven guilty and it is entirely achievable to punish them.
"BMU differs from the actions of this type of colleagues. After a court decision, such a person cannot practice. He has committed a crime," he added.
The lawyer for medical law Maria Petrova pointed out that these crimes are documentary.
"The law does not always provide for disqualification. There are basically two mechanisms for this to happen. One possibility is that there is an effective sentence that requires the revocation of rights. If we are talking about a crime when a doctor gives a false health certificate to someone, then the law does not provide for revocation of rights. Keep in mind that this also talks about paramedics and nurses. They are also responsible. The other option to deprive someone of their rights is through the Ethics Commission of the BMA. "Unfortunately, we need a revision of both the Code of Ethics and the rules," she added.
Those who have paid for a fake certificate are also subject to a sanction.
"It will be very difficult to check and prove that you have not been vaccinated. Issuing this document is not that easy. However, the person cannot be tested whether he has been vaccinated or not, unless he is caught on the spot ", added lawyer Petrova.
"The medical institution submits an application to the RHI when it gathers a sufficient number of people who want to be vaccinated. This request is given in the RHI against specific data. The vaccine is given in a certain order, stored in a certain order. When the vaccine is started, it is taken out to reach a certain temperature. The patient is given an outpatient sheet, and he signs an informed consent document that he will be given this vaccine. After the vaccine is given, the information is sent to the Health Information System ", explained Dr. Branzalov.
According to him, to throw away a vaccine, as the participants in the scheme did, is blasphemy. He is of the opinion that the only way to catch a fake certificate is only when a falsely vaccinated person becomes ill with a coronavirus. The doctor said that he also had cases of vaccinated people who became ill, but their percentage was too low.
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