Fake medical certificates in Thailand

With Covid-19 turning up health concerns all over the world, medical certificates seem to be the new passport – whether it’s travelling to a different city, country or even to attend certain functions. 

With the current situation, it’d be safe to say that medical certificates are in high demand. So coveted, that individuals were willing to purchase fraudulent certificates from a Thai woman, who was arrested by the police earlier this month. 

The forgery business 

Last week, members of the Patrol and Special Operations Division confiscated fraudulent authorisation stamps from the Ministry of Public Health and different hospitals, 500 fake medical certificates and electronics used to forge the documents, according to Bangkok Post

The suspect, Ms. Niphaporn Ponghiran is the owner of the Facebook page “Tongkarn Bai Raprong Phaet”, which translates to ‘in need of a medical certificate.  

Fake medical certificates in ThailandImage credit: Wassayos Ngamkham via Bangkok Post

In order to create these counterfeits, Ms. Ponghiran saved actual medical documents from different hospitals and altered the patients’ names, symptoms and the physician’s ID numbers. She had also asked office suppliers how to make stamps.

For the past six months, Ms. Ponghiran has been supplying these falsified documents for ฿500 (~USD16.28) each; she also stated she would make anywhere from ฿250,000 (~USD8,148) – to  ฿500,000 (~USD16,276) a month.

Criminal charges 

Legal action will be brought against Ms. Ponghiran: In addition to the false medical certificates, the police also reported finding methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. 

While it is difficult and times are truly tough, it’s important to remember that medical certificates are there to protect all of us. Let’s hope that the 500+ individuals that received documents from the suspect now have clean – legitimate – bills of health. 

For different ways Thais dealt with Covid-19: 

Cover images adapted from: Lechenie-Narkomanii via Pixabay
Images are for illustration purposes only

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