Trevor and Norbert Chung California father & son arrested using fake COVID-19 vaccine cards to fly to Hawaii in attempt to bypass that state’s coronavirus restrictions.
A California father and son who flew to Hawaii for vacation were arrested at Honolulu’s airport after officials said they used fake COVID-19 vaccination cards to try to bypass the state’s coronavirus restrictions.
The arrests are the first of their kind in the Aloha State, which has been grappling with soaring COVID-19 cases this month, the report said. Hawaii has been grappling with the highest rates of infection in the US.
Ongoing travel restrictions require visitors to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to avoid a 10-day quarantine.
The father and son’s arrests come as an ever increasing array of entities, including work places, places of education and states are mandating proof of vaccination, leading to many who have not vaccinated resorting to fake vaccination passports in an attempt to bypass such rules.
Putting others in jeopardy
Prosecutors said the father and son were arrested on Sunday after authorities received a tip from a community member.
‘To come to Hawaii and spend thousands of dollars on a trip and hotel and airfare and the money you’re going to spend to enjoy paradise, you’re going to risk that and spend even more money, because you put yourself, your family and others in jeopardy,’ Arthur Logan, special agent of criminal investigations for the Department of Attorney General, told KHON.
Upon father and son being arrested, they flew back to California and tested negative for COVID-19, then returned to Hawaii, where they were going through the court system, their attorney told KHON.
It’s unclear why the father and son allegedly resorted to fake documentation, or why they reportedly flew back to the mainland for their coronavirus tests.
Anyone found guilty of falsifying vaccination documents is subject to a $5,000 fine and/or a year in prison.
The AG’s office created a task force to crack down on offenders when the travel restrictions were implemented last year.
‘Part of that task force, our job is to investigate community complaints that come in about what’s going on with visitors that may or may not be cooperating,’ Logan told KHON.
‘There are multiple investigations that we have and are continuing to do. This is the first one that culminated in the arrests such as we have, but that’s not to say there are more to follow.’
Adding, ‘In reality, you’re taking a big risk and a big chance of falsifying documents that, in most states, getting the vaccine and PCR test is free, or of a nominal fee, and so why you would try and attempt that or do it through a falsified document, really you have to ask why.’
Both father and son are scheduled to appear before a judge in Hawaii on September 1.