The incident reportedly came to light after several travellers who landed in Saudi Arabia tested positive for coronavirus, despite carrying a negative certificate with them.

A lab worker holding samples
news COVID-19 Test Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - 09:54

A private lab in Malappuram’s Valanchery was busted for allegedly issuing fake COVID-19 certificates to various travellers flying to the Middle East. The  manager of Arma laboratory, the franchise of a Kozhikode based lab which had ICMR approval to conduct COVID-19 tests, was arrested on Tuesday.

The Malappuram based Arma lab had collected between Rs 40 -45 lakhs for testing samples of people. The lab also allegedly issued fake COVID-19 negative certificates to 2000 people without even sending their samples to the main Kozhikode lab for testing. According to the police, they faked the letterhead of Micro lab based in Kozhikode and gave the negative certificates.

Arma lab was authorised to collect samples and send them for testing to the Kozhikode lab, which would then test them and issue certificate. However, police have told the media that the Arma lab did not send the 2500 odd samples that it had collected to the Kozhikode lab.

They had allegedly dispatched 500 samples for testing and then issued fake COVID-19 negative certificates for the rest.

Several reports have stated that Arma lab allegedly charged Rs 2750 for each test, collecting between Rs 40 and 45 lakh from travellers.

The incident reportedly came to light after several travellers who landed in Saudi Arabia tested positive for coronavirus, despite carrying a negative certificate with them.

Based on a complaint by one of the clients who took a test, the Malappuram police arrested the manager of the laboratory and a care was registered against the lab.

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