Trinidad: Nurse Among 6 Held In Vaccination Card Sting

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – Police have arrested a regis­tered nurse and two cle­rical officers at the Fyzabad District Health Facility who were allegedly caught selling Covid-19 vaccination cards at a price of $3,000 each.

In Arima, a 41-year-old woman from the area and two other people were arrested for alleged­ly selling a Covid-19 vaccine card.

The arrests were two sting operations carried out by a combined team of police officers from the Fraud Squad, Special Investigations Unit and the Northern Police Division on Monday.

A statement from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) yesterday said the service is continuing to crack down on the conspi­racy to illegally issue false Covid-19 vaccination cards, with six people in total arrested for fraud.

The TTPS’ statement said on Monday that acting on information, the police team carried out the first exercise at the Fyzabad health centre where offi­cers observed a registered nurse who pretended to administer a vaccine to a person.

The person then walked over to two cle­ri­cal officers, who allegedly issued a Covid-19 vaccination card in exchange for the fee.

The officers, who were underco­ver at the health facility, arrested the nurse and two clerical officers and the card and cash were seized.

One of the arrested subsequently tested positive for Covid-19, police said.

Special arrangements have since been made by the TTPS executive and medical personnel to ensure the safety and welfare of the officers and the Covid-19-positive suspect.

In the second sting operation, officers went to the Northern Division where a clerk attached to the North-Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) was observed receiving a sum of cash after a vaccination card was handed to a person.

The clerk and two other suspects were arrested and the card and cash seized.

The six suspects are in the custody of the Fraud Squad Division in Port of Spain as investigations continue into the matters.

‘Worrisome development’

The TTPS expressed gra­titude to members of the public for alerting them and partnering with them to stop the illegal issuance of Covid-19 vaccination cards.

It said it is committed to supporting the initiatives of the Ministry of Health in combating the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Asked for comment on the incident which occurred in his constituency, Member of Parliament for Fyzabad Dr Lackram Bodoe wrote via text message: “I am very concerned about this very worrisome development regarding falsification of vaccination cards. I hope that this matter is fully investigated and perpetrators be brought to justice.

“In the meantime, I urge those persons who are yet to be vaccina­ted to consider doing so soon and for those whose boosters are due to avail themselves of this additional layer of protection.”