A nurse has been arrested for pretending to inject COVID-19 vaccines into at least 50 people in exchange for a bribe, police in Italy say.
The man in Ancona was caught on video apparently discarding vaccines into a container for used needles, with people paying to earn a vaccination pass without actually getting the jab.
The man is being investigated by the town’s tribunal for corruption, fake certificates and wasting public goods.
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Four people suspected of being the mediators are also being held under house arrest, while 45 who got the fake certificates are forbidden from leaving their municipalities, under tribunal order.
The investigation involves the main COVID vaccination hub of the Marche region, the Paolinelli sports hall.
The group of workers at the vaccination centre earned at least 18,000 euros (£15,000) through the scam, by faking at least 50 certificates according to the Italian police.
The unvaccinated people seeking the counterfeit certificate had travelled to Ancona from various Italian regions, and were paying around 400 euros (£333) for each certificate.
It comes after Italy announced a host of new coronavirus restrictions that means people who have not received a vaccine are effectively banned from public transport, coffee shops, hotels, gyms and other everyday activities.
The new “super” health pass requirement, which removes the ability to show just a negative test to gain access to services, comes as many Italians return to work and school after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
The measure was imposed with COVID-19 infections soaring past 100,000 per day in Italy.