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Fake cert Well-known celebrity quizzed over use of fake Covid certs could face lengthy prison term

It’s understood officers suspected the celebrity of using fake PCR pass tests to go in and out of Ireland on flights

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Stock images of Garda Crime scene tape.

Stock images of Garda Crime scene tape.

Stock images of Garda Crime scene tape.

A celebrity quizzed by gardai over the alleged use of fake PCR results could face prosecution under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud) Act 2001 – which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The well-known Irishman met by arrangement with detectives from the Garda National Immigration Bureau on Thursday and was arrested before being quizzed by officers under caution.

The celebrity is not an individual known for anti-vax views.

It’s understood officers suspected the celebrity of using fake PCR pass tests to go in and out of Ireland on flights – without having to undergo legitimate testing for COVID.

Offenders may also be guilty of a separate, recently introduced, offence of using a fake Covid cert, which carries a maximum €2,000 fine.

In a statement released in response to queries from the Irish Daily Star on Friday, gardai confirmed that an individual had been arrested.

"Gardaí carrying out investigations into the productions of a false instrument in May 2021 arrested a man yesterday.

“He has since been released without charge with a file being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.”

Gardai did not identify the man who was arrested, but several reliable sources have confirmed he is a major celebrity.

It’s understood the celebrity presented himself to officers at a Dublin station on Thursday as part of the probe and was then arrested.

Gardai had the power to detain him for 24 hours, but it is understood he was only held for a number of hours.

Efforts to contact the celebrity this morning were unsuccessful.

It’s understood the gardai investigation into the celebrity’s suspected use of fake PCR results began after another individual was stopped at Dublin airport using a false PCR result.

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This individual was arrested and his laptop was seized.

When specialists examined it, they saw several email exchanges between him and the celebrity – which led officers to suspect that the celebrity also had access to fake PCR tests results.

Prior to the introduction of vaccination certs, PCR tests that showed people were clear of COVID were required for travel to and from Ireland.

But some people got access to fake test results – which mean they could bypass the strict checks and did not have to have tests prior to jetting in and out of the country.

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