Hawaii Tourists Arrested for Fake COVID Vaccine Passport
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A father and son duo were arrested in Hawaii after someone tipped off officials they had fake COVID vaccine cards, according to state officials.
Norbert Chung, 57, and Trevor Chung, 19, were arrested Sunday at Honolulu’s airport and face up to one year in prison and up to $5,000 in fines for violating the state’s Safe Travels program, USA Today reports.
“Prior to Sunday, there were many, many hours put into the investigation that culminated on Sunday and where we are even today,” said Arthur Logan, special agent of criminal investigations for the Department of Attorney General.
The Chungs were forced to immediately return to California, pass a COVID test, then fly straight back to Hawaii for their arraignment, KHON2 reports.
Travelers are able to bypass the state’s mandatory 10-day quarantine if they provide vaccine passports.
“In reality, you’re taking a big risk and a big chance of falsifying documents that, in most states, getting the vaccine and PCR test is free, or of a nominal fee, and so why you would try and attempt that or do it through a falsified document, really you have to ask why,” Joe Logan, with the investigative division of Hawaii Attorney General’s office, told KITV.
The Chungs were ratted out by a community member prior to their arrival. The state has formed a COVID-19 task force to look for similar violations is warning of the penalties.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) used their arrest to double down on the state’s strict China Virus restrictions.
“We’ve been pretty aggressive in enforcing and prosecuting those violators that we have become aware of,” he said. “We have pursued quarantine violations. We do have a case where we had travelers forging vaccination records that we’ve filed charges against.”