Switzerland cracks down on Covid test scammers

Fraudsters have conned taxpayers out of CHF20 million by charging for fake coronavirus tests. Keystone / Ennio Leanza

The Swiss authorities maintain they will not relent in their pursuit of people who profited from fake Covid-19 test scams.

This content was published on March 10, 2023 - 13:04

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) says it has demanded CHF1.6 million ($1.7 million) from one alleged fraudster and opened a criminal complaint against another.

Federal auditors estimate the state was conned out of CHF20 million over fraudulent invoicing for coronavirus tests.

Auditors also condemned a lack of sufficient controls and noted that only CHF6,000 had been recovered from fake tests by mid-December.

Swiss taxpayers footed a CHF2.7 billion bill for free tests over 2020 and 2021 – a practice that was disbanded at the start of this year.

On Thursday, the FOPH and the Federal Commission for Vaccination issued new guidelines on vaccinations.

From the start of April, vaccine boosters are only recommended for vulnerable people.

The decision has been taken on the grounds that current Covid-19 strains are less virile than previous mutations.

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