Tourists charged with faking vaccine records in Hawaii
HONOLULU (AP) — Two visitors from U.S. mainland were arrested for allegedly using fake vaccine cards to travel into Hawaii.
Officials with the Hawaii Attorney General’s office arrested the visitors at Honolulu’s international airport, a spokesman for the agency said in a statement.
Investigators said the two were in violation of the state’s travel rules which require travelers to produce either a negative coronavirus test or proof of vaccination to avoid quarantine when entering the state.
Violating the state’s COVID-19 mandates, including falsifying a vaccination card, is a misdemeanor that can result in a fine of up to $5,000, up to a year in prison or both.
The visitors were arraigned Wednesday after being arrested over the weekend.
Authorities responded to a tip from a community member.
“Attorney General investigators are committed to ensuring all such leads are investigated and thank the community for their assistance and support,” the AG’s office said.
The agency said that while there may be other cases pending with other Hawaii law enforcement divisions, this was the first arrest by the Department of the Attorney General for allegedly falsifying vaccination cards.
“As reports of falsified card usage increases, as does enforcement,” the AG’s office said in an email to the Associated Press. “(F)alsified CDC cards are a federal offense and depending on local laws, a state offense.”