fake vaccine passport

Ontario man charged with fraud after showing fake vaccine passport to employer

Think you can forge your own vaccine passport to keep a job that requires full vaccination? Think again.

Ontario's enhanced vaccine certificate document is a lot harder to replicate than, say, your mom's signature on a sick note in high school — and trying to present a fake one can land you in serious trouble.

A 30-year-old Ottawa man has learned this the hard way after attempting to trick his employer by "submitting forged documents and falsely attesting that he had received two doses of vaccination for COVID-19 at a Provincial Vaccine Clinic."

The now-former paramedic had, according to police in Ottawa, "presented a fraudulent vaccination certificate to his employer in order to maintain employment" with the Ottawa Paramedic Service.

Noticing that something seemed amiss with the man's proof-of-vaccination documents, the service's Professional Standards Section contacted the City of Ottawa which, like Toronto, requires all municipal workers to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

City officials alerted police, who, in turn, launched an investigation into the matter. The Ottawa Police Service Organized Fraud Unit arrested Ali Abdelgani on Wednesday, October 27, in connection with the investigation.

He has been charged with Uttering a Forged Document, Obtain by False Pretence and Forgery — all serious criminal offences that carry with them a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Each.

The frontline worker also appears to have lost his job: City of Ottawa solicitor David White confirmed in a statement that the paramedic is no longer employed by the city.

"The Ottawa Police would like to remind Ottawa residents that selling, purchasing, utilizing or knowingly accepting false COVID-19 vaccination credentials (certificate/passport) is a Criminal Offence and offenders will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," wrote police in a release announcing the bust on Thursday.

"Participating in such offences puts everybody at risk and fragilizes our community’s public health."

Lead photo by

Michael Burns

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