Two travelers to Hawaii could face up to one year in prison and up to $5,000 in fines after allegedly falsifying vaccination cards.
Norbert Chung, 57, and Trevor Chung, 19, were arrested Sunday at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye Airport after officials said they violated the state’s Safe Travels program, which allows travelers from the USA and its territories to offer vaccine proof to bypass a mandatory 10-day quarantine. Previously, all travelers, including vaccinated visitors, had to test negative for the coronavirus three days before departure to bypass quarantine.
Investigators from the Department of the Attorney General made the arrests after receiving a tip from a community member before the travelers arrived, according to a statement from spokesperson Gary Yamashiroya. The two were arraigned Thursday morning.
“The Department of the Attorney General will investigate and prosecute those who cheat the Safe Travels program, which was established to keep our islands safe,” Yamashiroya said.
This is the first case the office has brought related to fraudulent vaccine proof under the Safe Travels program. The department declined to provide further details on the arrests.
At a news conference Tuesday, Hawaii Gov. David Ige cited the arrest of the tourists as an example of the state’s strict enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions.
“We’ve been pretty aggressive in enforcing and prosecuting those violators that we have become aware of,” he said. “We have pursued quarantine violations. We do have a case where we had travelers forging vaccination records that we’ve filed charges against.”
Source: Yahoo News
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