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Aussie tennis star de Minaur investigated over false Covid pass purchase scheme
Australian tennis player Alex de Minaur is among those being investigated over the purchase of false Covid passes, Spanish police sources told AFP on Thursday.
"We can confirm the name," police said indicating that de Minaur, 23, and other athletes and public figures feature on a list of alleged buyers.
De Minaur, ranked 32nd in the world, played in the Australian Open last month, where vaccination was compulsory, leading to the deportation of world number one Novak Djokovic over his coronavirus vaccination status.
Police this week closed the second phase of operation "Jenner," opened in January into the Spanish branch of an organisation providing false Covid and PCR passes through messaging applications.
The investigation found that the leaders of this group were based in France, police said.
In total, 11 people have been arrested, accused of "forgery and the use of forged documents" and a further 2,200 investigated for having obtained the Covid passes fraudulently.
The network offered fake PCR results for around 50 euros ($57) and false Covid passes for 200 euros ($227), with wealthier clients charged up to 1,000 euros (1,137 dollars) for documents stating they were fully vaccinated.
According to Spanish police, the group would have been aided by someone working in the health services with the investigation also probing the possible theft of access codes.
Payments for the false documents were made using cryptocurrencies "through accounts opened in third countries."
Once the payment was received, the clients obtained a code in which the fraudulent vaccination schedule was recorded.
Two days later they could obtain their Covid pass in which two or three vaccine doses were recorded as having been received.
The police investigation is still underway with the final phase focusing on the arrest of the ringleaders of the organisation.