The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) says it has intercepted 30 suspected “fraudulent” COVID-19 tests from people seeking to enter the country.
In a statement emailed to Global News on Sunday, CBSA said since January, when the federal government implemented requirements that all travellers returning to Canada by air provide proof of a negative molecular test, “officers have been on the lookout for fraudulent COVID-19 test results.”
The agency said between Jan. 7, 2021, and Wednesday, its officers intercepted 10 suspected fraudulent test result documents at Canada’s airports.
Last month the federal government implemented similar measures at the country’s land border, requiring all travellers to present results of a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before their arrival.
CBSA said between Feb. 15, 2021, and Wednesday, the agency had intercepted 20 suspected fraudulent test result documents at the land border.
The agency said it is aware that fraudulent test results are being produced and it’s “working closely with domestic and international partners to detect and intercept such documents as early as possible in the travel continuum.”
“CBSA is also working closely with Transport Canada (TC), whose relationship with air carriers is key in identifying suspect documents before travellers land on Canadian soil via air mode,” the statement read.
CBSA said, though, that over the last seven days, 99.8 per cent of travellers arriving in Canada by air have complied with the mandatory pre-arrival testing, and 99.78 per cent of those entering the country by land have complied.
The agency warned that providing false information or making fraudulent attempts to enter Canada is a “serious offence” that could result in penalties or criminal charges.
“Failure to comply with the current border entry restrictions is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to up to six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines,” the email read.
“Further, a person who causes a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person while wilfully or recklessly contravening this Act or the regulations could be liable for a fine of up to $1,000,000 or imprisonment of up to 3 years or both.”
The federal government has, for months, urged Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel.