Moroccan security services have arrested two suspects working at a medical test laboratory for allegedly forging the results of COVID-19 tests.
Officers from the National Brigade of Judicial Police (BNPJ) made the arrests on Thursday, January 14, in Sidi Kacem, 130 kilometers northeast of Rabat.
The suspects, aged 26 and 39, are a technician that worked at the medical test laboratory and the wife of the laboratory’s owner.
Security services apprehended the suspects in the act of forging the results of COVID-19 tests, said a statement from the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN).
According to the statement, the suspects allegedly sold the falsified test certificates to individuals who did not undergo any medical tests, in return for a sum of MAD 600 ($68).
During the search operation, police officers confiscated 23 forged medical certificates. Police also seized eight copies of national identity cards belonging to the individuals who ordered the fraudulent certificates.
The suspects will remain in custody until the investigation is concluded, DGSN stated.
The alleged crime prompted anger among citizens, especially Sidi Kacem residents, who considered that such practices undermine the credibility of COVID-19 tests and the important work of medical test laboratories.
The suspects have likely exploited lenient monitoring by Morocco’s Ministry of Health to commit their alleged crime.
At the start of the domestic COVID-19 outbreak, the ministry only granted authorization to conduct COVID-19 tests to a few laboratories across the country that fit several requirements.
However, as the domestic epidemiological situation worsened, the ministry allowed all medical test laboratories across the country to conduct tests for COVID-19.