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No bail for duo accused of forging Covid-19 certificates

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TWO people arrested for allegedly forging Covid-19 certificates and selling them to people intending to travel outside the country, have been denied bail.
Harare magistrate Barbra Mateko yesterday ruled that Takesure Kanyani and Tariro Chimhavi must remain behind bars as they are accused of committing a serious offence.

The two allegedly forged PCR certificates and purported that they had been issued by accredited laboratories and health facilities before selling them to travellers at Roadport Bus Station in the capital.

They were not asked to plead to the charges and sought to be released on bail but this was denied. The State had opposed their admission to bail, saying their behaviour risked people’s lives as no one knows the number of people whom they had sold the certificates to before their arrest.

Prosecutors said several people were flooding the borders with these fake certificates, which defeated the government’s efforts in fighting the deadly pandemic. Allegations are that on January 4 at around 10am, detectives received information that the two were printing fake Covid-19 certificates at Peacock Salon along Jason Moyo Avenue in the capital and selling them to would-be travellers at Roadport.

The police went to the salon there and recovered four forged certificates from Kanyani in different names purportedly issued by one Doctor T. Moyo of Parktown Hospital. Prosecutor Owen Safuri told the court that Kanyani allegedly indicated that there were more certificates saved in the computer.

Kanyani voluntarily printed more certificates purported to have been issued by Sally Mugabe Central Hospital, Mello Health and Pathcare Molecular Pathology.

It is alleged Kanyani is the owner of the computers used to forge the documents, which belonged to Chimhavi. Police then arrested Chimhavi, who admitted to being the source of the recovered Covid-19 certificates and also showed the detectives more fake documents in a mobile phone.

The detectives went to Parktown Hospital where they verified that the certificates did not originate from the institution.

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