Student loans body reports 29 for fraud

Sweden's student loans body, CSN, has reported 29 people to the police on suspicion of committing serious fraud in connection with applications for studies at a UK university.

Student loans body reports 29 for fraud

CSN has now halted payments of around 4 million kronor ($620,000), announcing in a statement that around 300,000 kronor is thought to have been paid out in error.

The authority discovered in August that a number of applications for studies at the University of East London appeared suspicious and after contact with the university has been able to conclude that 24 acceptance letters had been forged.

“We managed to detect the majority of fraudulent grants before we paid out any money. We have now ordered repayment in cases where we paid out the money incorrectly,” said Håkan Simon at CSN.

The 29 people who have now been reported to police in connection with the case are resident in Stockholm, Uppsala, Jönköping and Gothenburg.

CSN announced in May 2010 that it had expanded its search for fraudsters, after initial investigations showed that one third of students had been granted money to which they were not entitled.

In the summer the authority discovered a similar case of suspected fraud in Australia, with 60 people reported to police in an investigation which is currently ongoing.

Around 31,000 people studied overseas with the help of Swedish student grants in 2010, with a total of 2.3 billion kronor paid out to this group.

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Germany cracks down on fake Covid vaccine documents

German police have set up a special team to fight a growing number of forged vaccine certificates being sold in the black market

Germany cracks down on fake Covid vaccine documents
People who are fully vaccinated can show their vaccination booklet, which has a stamp and a sticker inside. Photo: Ina FASSBENDER / AFP

Police in Cologne have warned of a group of fraudsters selling fake vaccination certificates, a growing problem the scale of which is still unclear.

The police said the fraudsters worked in encrypted Telegram chats, making investigations difficult, and were selling fake documents with all the stamps and signatures, including a mark about vaccination with BioNTech or AstraZeneca.

READ ALSO: Germany probes Covid-19 testing centres for fraud

The fraud involved both real traffic in fake documents as well as scams luring customers into paying €100.

People in Germany who are fully vaccinated can show their vaccination booklet, which has a stamp and a sticker inside. Those who don’t have a booklet get a piece of paper.

Covid health passes are currently being rolled out across the EU, with a European health passport expected to be available from mid-June.

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on how the EU’s ‘Covid passports’ will work for travellers?

Over 44% of the adult population in Germany has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and more than 18% of Germans have been fully vaccinated.

German police have said forged coronavirus vaccine documents are becoming an increasing problem.

Last month, a couple in Baden-Württemberg was accused of selling fake coronavirus vaccination certificates.